By Funke Busari
A prosecution witness, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, told Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on Wednesday that Mr. Rowaye Jubril, an oil marketer, did not import the petroleum product for which he obtained N963.7 million subsidy payment from the Federal Government.
Mohammed, a senior detective superintendent stated this while testifying at the resumption of Jubril’s trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged to court, Jubril and his company, Brila Energy Limited, for alleged subsidy fraud of obtaining money for the purported importation of 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
When the EFCC counsel, Mr Seidu Atteh, led Mohammed in evidence, he told the court that he was a part of the special team which investigated the fraud in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme.
Mohammed said its findings revealed that Jubril did not import the products as he had claimed to the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
He added that the defendant actually obtained the products from other vessels within Nigeria which did not permit him to collect any subsidy from the government.
“The defendant claim that there was a ship-to-ship transfer of the product between the mother vessel, MT Overseas Lima and the first daughter vessel, MT Delphina.
“According to him, the said transfer took place between 26th January and 27th, 2011 at Off-shore Cotonou in Benin Republic.
“However, our investigations showed that MT Overseas Lima was not in West African coast during that period hence it was impossible for the transfer to have taken place,” the witness said.
The investigator further said the EFCC wrote to Daddo Maritime, the owners of the second daughter vessel, MT Danni 1, which brought the 13,000 metric tonnes of PMS to Obat Jetty in Lagos.
He said the company’s documents showed that the defendant used MT Danni to obtain the products from various ships.
While Mohammed was being cross-examined by Jubril’s counsel, Mr. Kola Kolade, he still insisted that the subsidy payment was fraudulently obtained.
Continuation of trial has been adjourned to Thursday.