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N1.8b fraud: Absence of defence lawyers stalls trial

The trial of Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdullahi Alao and Eterna Oil Plc who are being prosecuted over a N1.8billion subsidy scam at a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, suffered yet another setback on Monday, October 7, 2013, as the defence counsel representing the quartet failed to show up in court.

When the matter was called, EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, SAN, immediately told the court that the defence team led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, had earlier through a written letter dated September 26, 2013, demanded an adjournment which Jacob said he turned down through a written reply on the same date.

Jacob said that the defence team failed to show up in court, despite his reply to their letter opposing their request for an adjournment. But counsel to the third defendant, Mrs. O. Badewole was however present in court.

The presiding Judge, Justice Lawal Akapo then adjourned the matter to November 6, 2013, for mention.

Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdullahi Alao and Eterna Oil Plc. were alleged to have fraudulently obtained N1.8billion from the Federal Government through the Petroleum Support Fund and were subsequently arraigned on a nine count charge for offences bordering on obtaining money through false pretence, forgery and uttering contrary to Section 468 of the Criminal Code.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, media and Publicity
8th October, 2013

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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