Justice Lateefa Okunnu fixed the date after hearing the submissions of their counsels, Prof. Alfred Kasumu (SAN), Mr. Abubakar Shamsudeen and Mr. Eubena Ahmedu, as well as that of the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).

The marketers – Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah – are being prosecuted alongside their firms, Downstream Energy Sources Ltd. and Rocky Energy Ltd.
They were re-arraigned on April 1, 2014 on an amended 26-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery, uttering and use of false documents.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants did not import the 10,862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for which they received subsidy payment from the Federal Government.

However, their lawyers in separate no-case submissions, urged the court to dismiss the charge for want of jurisdiction.

“The entire 26 counts against the applicants all relate to matters over which only the Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction as provided in Section 251 (a)(g) (n) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 19 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act, 2004.

“The entire evidence led by the prosecution and contents of the 26 counts amended information together with the extant laws, this honourable court lacks the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the information,” they said.

The defence lawyers argued that the evidence adduced so far by the 11 prosecution witnesses has not established a prima facie case against the defendants.

According to them the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was so manifestly unreliable with material contradictions and inconsistency that no court or tribunal could reasonably convict.

They further argued that the charge was an abuse of court processes and was not filed in accordance with the due process of the law.

In his reply, Jacobs urged the court to dismiss the applications and order the defendants to enter their defence.

He argued that the 11 witnesses and 48 exhibits tendered by the prosecution had sufficiently established a prima facie case against all the defendants.

According to him, the defendants colluded to defraud the Federal Government by obtaining subsidy payment without importing any product.

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