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EFCC Faults Nationality Claims Of Subsidy Fraud Suspect

EFCC Faults Nationality Claims Of Subsidy Fraud Suspect

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at a Lagos High Court in Ikeja on Monday pointed out contradictions in the nationality claims by a suspect on the fuel subsidy fraud, Mr. Christian Taylor, who was arraigned on Thursday.

Taylor, along with Mamman Ali, son of Ahmadu Ali, a former Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, and their company, Nasaman Oil Services, was arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo on three counts of fuel subsidy fraud involving N2.23bn.

Shortly after the accused were granted bail, their counsel, Joe Gadzama, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had urged the court to vary one of the bail conditions requiring that the accused must provide two sureties, one of whom must be his blood relation residing in Lagos.

Gadzma urged the court to vary the bail condition on the grounds that the accused is a Sierra Leonean and as such it might be difficult for him to get any of his relatives living in the state.

The judge then asked him to file an application for variation of the bail condition.

However, at the Monday’s proceedings, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, said he needed to oppose the application in view of records at his disposal showing that the accused had claimed to hail from Edo State.

Jacobs said, “In a statement attached to the proof of evidence, he claimed to be from Edo State. This is a statement written by himself in his handwriting.

“To now turn around and say he is from Sierra Leone surprises me. Even in his asset declaration form, he said his father was from Edo State.

“If he is not stable at this level, I wonder what it will be like if he is totally released.”

The judge adjourned till Wednesday for hearing of the application.

Date for commencement of trial in the joint charge involving Ali and Taylor was fixed for October 30.

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