Attempts by mega rich oil man, Walter Wagbatsoma to evade prosecution in the N1.9billion fuel subsidy court case against him has fallen flat.
The court has ruled he has a case to answer, along with his accomplices
Here are the details as sourced from thecapital
The bid by oil marketer Walter
Wagbatsoma to extricate himself from the N1.9 billion subsidy fraud
brought against him and others by the EFCC suffered setback on Friday
October 10, 2014.
An Ikeja High Court presided over by
Justice Lateefat Okunnu dismissed application of no case submission by
Wagbatsoma maintaining there are clear cut evidence to nail him and
Out of the four accused in the fraud
only Ezekiel Ejidele, an Accountant with Akintola Williams Delloite was
discharged by the court because there was no evidence linking him to the
economic crime. Justice Lateefat Okunnu discharged Ejidele, after
upholding his no-case submission application.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
that Ejidele was charged alongside Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ndagi
and Fakuade Babafemi, a staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing
Regulatory Authority (PPPRA).
They are facing a nine-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretences, forgery and uttering.
The defendants had all filed their respective no-case submission applications, urging the court to discharge them.
But in her ruling, Okunnu held that the
prosecution had not been able to provide sufficient evidence linking
Ejidele to the alleged offences. The judge said:” In my humble view,
there is no evidence linking the fourth defendant (Ejidele) to the
crime. “I hereby uphold his no-case submission and he is accordingly
Okunnu, however, dismissed the
applications of the other defendants, (Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha
Ugo-Ndagi and Fakuade Babafemi) adding that sufficient evidence had been
established against them. She said the EFCC had alleged that the
marketers imported 12.4 million litres and 10 million litres of petrol
(PMS) in two transactions between July and November 2010.
The judge said the prosecution claimed
that they had received subsidy payment for 19 million litres and 15
million litres respectively by forging the shore tank certificate.
Okunnu noted that Babafemi, who was
supposed to oversee the discharge of the product, failed to do so but
later signed the said certificate used for the alleged fraud.
The judge also held that the court had
jurisdiction to entertain the case contrary to the argument by the
defendants’ counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
“The applications of the other
defendants are hereby dismissed. I hereby call upon them to present
their defence. The case was adjourned to November 26, 2014 for the
defendants to open their defence.'