The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Tuesday confirmed that N1.1 billion was paid to an oil company, Majope Investment Ltd., accused of fuel subsidy fraud.
A Senior Research Officer in the PPPRA, Mr Mohammed Ghidi, made the disclosure while testifying at the trial of three oil marketers before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the marketers, Opeyemi Ajuyah, Abdullahi Alao and Olarenwaju Olalusi, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The defendants are facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery, uttering and use of false documents.
Ghidi, under cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Messrs Olarenwaju Ajanaku and Aderemi Oguntoye, however, said the computation made in 2011 was based on the documents submitted by the marketers.
“There was no problem with the transaction in 2011 when the PPPRA recommended that the money should be paid to Majope Investment Ltd.
“A Sovereign Debt Note was issued to the company which was later presented to the Debt Management Office for the payment of the subsidy claim.
“As far as the transaction was concerned, there was no cause for alarm,’’ he said.
Ghidi said he was not aware of the case until the PPPRA received a letter dated May 10, 2013 from the EFCC requesting it to re-compute the Majope Investment Ltd. transaction carried out in 2011.
According to him, the EFCC has asked his agency to re-compute the transaction based on a quoted figure to the tune of 5.7 million liters of premium motor spirit.
He said this was against the initial total of 20.3 million litres for which the marketers obtained subsidy payment from the Petroleum Support Fund.
Ghidi noted that no document was attached to the letter from the EFCC to back the quoted 5.7 million litres from which the new computation was made.
NAN reports that the matter was adjourned till May 22 for continuation of trial
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