The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned two suspects – Ejere Chris and Edoma Omagha before Justice A. M. Nicol-Clay of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, on 10 charges bordering on conspiracy and forgery to the tune of N7.3bn.
The accused persons were charged alongside Kehinde Ogbor, Danium Energy Services Limited, Sibet Oil Services Limited, Loveth Ogbor and Rhombi Energy limited, who are all at large.
The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that Danium Energy Services Limited allegedly approached the petitioner, Fidelity Bank Plc, between January 17 and February 9, 2017, to finance three different purchase orders for the sale of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) to Total Nigeria Plc.
Thereafter, the bank allegedly financed two of the purchase orders to the tune of N7.3bn, after due confirmation from Total Nigeria Plc.
The products were allegedly supplied by Sibet Oil Services Limited and Rhombi Energy Limited and discharged at the Ibeto Tank Farm, Apapa.
The bank was said to have engaged an independent surveyor, International Logistics and Fulfilment Services Limited, which confirmed the existence of the products at the Ibeto Tank Farm as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources.
However, when the bank approached Total Nigeria Plc for repayment, it was discovered that the purchase orders were forged by the accused persons.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Ejere Kelvin Chris, Edoma Omagha, Kehinde Eliot Ogbor (at large), Danium Energy Services Limited (at large), Sibet Oil Services Limited (at large), Loveth Miyemi Ogbor (at large) and Rhombi Energy Limited (at large) sometime between the months of January, 2017 and February, 2017 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to dishonestly convert and steal the cumulative sum of N7.3bn.”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the counts.
In view of their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, George Chia-yakua, asked the court for a date to commence trial and prayed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
Counsel for the accused persons, through oral application urged the court to admit their clients to bail, but was opposed by Chia-yakua, who insisted “they must file written applications.”
Justice Nicol-Clay adjourned to July 11, 2017 for hearing of the bail applications and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the EFCC custody.