Alleged N978.4m oil scam: Court grants defendant N100m bail

An Igbosere High Court sitting in Lagos, on Monday granted bail to the Managing Director of Nadabo Energy Oil and Gas Ltd, Abubakar Peters, over alleged N978.4 million oil fraud.

He was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Christopher Balogun admitted him to bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum who must have valuable property to be verified by the chief sheriff of the court.

Justice Balogun, before granting the bail, showed his displeasure over the attitude of the former counsel to the defendant, Chief Emefo Etudo.

The judge said that if he found out at the end of the investigation that the court was misled to keep the defendant in prison, he would petition the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), over the conduct of the counsel.

“I wish Chief Etudo is here, if at the end of this investigation I find out that chief Etudo has misled this court, I will write to NBA to discipline him.

“He has written two petitions against me but he doesn’t know the law.

“If he had known the law, he will know that you don’t petition a judge if there is an error of law, the only option left for you is to approach the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court,” Justice Balogun said.

In his submission before the court, new counsel to the defendant, Mr Olatunbosun Adekunle, said that the defendant was just a victim of lawyer – client relationship.

He said the former lawyer came to court to arm twist the court to keep the defendant in prison custody.

Adekunle, therefore, prayed the court to ignore all the claims of the former counsel.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Tope Banjo, urged the court to refuse the bail application made by the defendant, “because he is a flight risk”.

Banjo, however, prayed the court to grant accelerated hearing to the case.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Sept. 25, the former counsel to the defendant had informed the court that he was no longer representing the defendant.

The counsel said he discovered that the defendant was paid a large sum of money and wanted to abscond from the country.

The defendant is standing trial on a 27-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of forged documents preferred against him by the EFCC.

EFCC alleged that the defendant defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N978.4 million by supplying 6.5 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) instead of 19.4 litres indicated in the contract.

The case was however adjourned until Oct. 28, for continuation of trial.

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