EFCC Chair, Bawa, appears in court to testify on subsidy scam


The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has appeared before a Lagos High Court in the Ikeja Area to explain how an oil marketer, Abubakar Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, forged documents to obtain N1.4bn as subsidy from the Federal Government.

The EFCC is prosecuting Peters and his company on a 21-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, diversion of federal government funds and forgery.

On Tuesday, the trial was stalled owing to the absence of the defence counsel. But on Wednesday morning, all parties were present in court including the star prosecution witness, Bawa.

Bawa, who was in the witness box for over 6 hours on Wednesday, gave extensive details of how the EFCC conducted its investigations.

The EFFC Chairman told the court how the commission in 2012 received a complaint from the then Minister of Petroleum Resources,  Diezani Alison-Madueke, alleging fraud in the importation of petrol by Nadabo Energy Ltd. It equally received a petition from the law firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.

According to Bawa, these petitions and another from a civil society group formed the bedrock of the investigation against Abubakar Peters and his company.

He explain that a special team constituted by the EFCC to probe the subsidy regime questioned officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Enterprise Bank, the Debt Management Office, DMO, Nigeria Port Authorities (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Navy and many other companies involved in dealing with Nadabo Energy Limited.

The team found that the defendant forged all documents, leading to the subsidy payment of N1.4bn by inflating the quantity of the petroleum products he imported.

Through the witness, the court also admitted in evidence several documents as proof of the alleged fraud.

Bawa will be back in court on the 1st of November for his cross-examination.

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