Court Orders Two Oil Marketers To Open Defence In Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Case
Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has dismissed the no-case-submission applications of two oil marketers, Yusuf Yaya Kwande and Osahon Asemota over alleged multi-million dollar fraud case.
The judge ordered the oil marketers to open their defence.
Justice Dada affirmed that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against all the defendants.
Other defendants listed in the matter are Trafigua Behee BV, Trafigura PTE, Mettle Energy and Gas Limited, Rembrandt Limited and Jill Engineering and Oil Services Limited.
The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of thẹ Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi had filed the multi-million dollar fraud suit against thẹ defendants sequel to a petition by Nadabo Energy Limited before court.
They are facing three count charge bordering on conspiracy and receiving stolen property before the court.
Justice Dada, in a ruling said upon review of applications of all the defendants, there is need for them to explain to the court their role in allegations preferred against them by the prosecution.
The court noted in the response of the applications of the first to the seventh defendants, the complainant, Nadabo Energy Limited is a contractor to the Mobil Oil Producing Unlimited.
“There is a contract for the supply of 10,000 metric tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) between Exxon Mobil Oil Producing Limited and Nadabo Energy Limited as shown in Exhibits P43 annexure 2, P18 and and P81 with contract number: MOA-07-00305-D dated 10th October, 2007.
“In August, 2008, Nadabo was granted a purchasing order by Mobil to supply 10, 000 metric tonnes of AGO. Nadabo approached Spring Bank (now Heritage Bank) to finance the importation of the AGO.
“Nadabo had license to import 4,000 metric tonnes at the time. It could not import the entire cargo of 10,000 with its license, it then contacted the 4th Defendant, Mettle Energy and Gas Limited, to assist it in the importation which request led to a memorandum of understanding dated 31st March, 2008 and executed between Nadabo and Mettle Energy.
“Where it was agreed that Mettle Energy shall supply on behalf of Nadabo the aforesaid MT of AGO at Mobil offshore Eket. All finances for the execution of the agreement were to be transferred by Nadabo Energy Limited to its agent, Mettle Energy which agreement Nadabo carried out both in Naira and in Dollars.
“Mettle Energy and Gas Limited brought in its sister company Rembrandt Limited who contacted Lubcon Limited and entered into agreement through a memorandum of understanding signed between them to facilitate the import and supply of Nadabo 10, 000MT of AGO to Mobil.
“Rembrandt itself had no licence to import the quantity of the product to Nigeria and had to bring in Lubcon. The said Rembrandt and Mettle energy have a common managing director and alter ego in the person of Osahon Asemota (6th Defendant).”
But counsel to the first and second defendants Bode Olanipekin, SAN, debunked any foul play in the transaction.
Olanipekun maintained that his clients discharged their responsibility to the fourth defendant upon discharged of the agreed quantity of Automated Gas Oil (AGO), offshore Cotonou from the mother vessel.
He contended that his client supplied products of good quality to the consignee.
Justice Dada has adjourned the matter to October 4, 2022, for opening of defence case.