The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ,on Wednesday December 10, re-arraigned the trio of Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdullahi Alao and their companies Eterna Plc, Axenergy, and Star Inspection Services Nigeria Limited on 38-amended count charges bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and forgery.
The accused persons allegedly colluded among themselves and obtained N3,121,393,098 (Three Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, Three Hundred and Ninety Three Thousand, Ninety Eight Naira Only) from the Federal Government under the guise that the money was for the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
One of the charges read that: “You Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdullahi Alao, Eterna Plc, Axenergy, and Star Inspection Services Nigeria Limited between October and November, 2011 within the jurisdiction of this honorable court with intent to defraud, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit, obtaining the sum of N1,222,154,152 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Twenty Two Million, One Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Two Naira Only) by false pretense , from the Federal Government of Nigeria purporting the said sum to be subsidy fund by falsely claiming to have imported 13, 701, 569 litres of premium Motor Spirit into Nigeria through the mother vessel MT Valle Di Castiglia and the Daughter vessel MT Deepwater and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related offences Act 2006.”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jabobs, SAN, requested a trial date in view of the plea of the accused persons. Counsel to the 1st , 2nd and 4th accused persons as well as counsel to the 3rd and 5th accused persons requested the court to allow the accused persons maintain their bail terms and condition granted earlier by the same court.
Justice Akapo allowed the accused persons to continue to enjoy the terms of bail earlier granted them by court and adjourned the matter to March 2 , 3 and 4, 2015 for commencement of trial.