Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja has adjourned to June 4, 2014 for ruling on whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the N1.4 billion oil subsidy case involving the duo of Helyn Aninye, Chizobam Aniebonam and their company, Pon-specialized Services Limited.
The accused persons who are alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum from the Federal government as subsidy for the importation of premium motor spirit, are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
The ruling which was originally slated for today, March 25, has been moved to June 4.
The accused persons had on January 29, 2014, through their counsel, Solomon Edoho who held brief for Nourisson Quaker, SAN, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, claiming that it was a matter of admiralty, and that the Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction on matters of admiralty. However, counsel to EFCC, Sir Steve Odiase had told the court that it is not a matter of admiralty as the product is out of the vessel and the vessel is no longer in the sea.
It will be recalled that the EFCC, after several attempts, arraigned the accused persons on Friday May 31, 2013. They were said to have conspired to obtain the sum of One Billion, Four Hundred and Thirteen Million, Five Hundred and Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty One Naira and Fifty Kobo (N1, 413,507,951.50) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to Pon-Specialised Services Limited under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 15,000 MT of Premium Motor Spirit.
One of the counts read, “That you Helyn Aninye “F”, Chizobam Ben-Okafor “F” and Pon-Specialised Services Limited on or about the 3rd day of March, 2011 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud did obtained the sum of One Billion, Four Hundred and Thirteen Million , Five Hundred and Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty One Naira and Fifty Kobo Only (N1,413,507,951.50) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to Pon-Specialised Services Limited under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 15,000MT of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which Pon-Specialised Services Limited claimed to have purchased from Vitol SA Bourgase Bulgaria and imported into Nigeria through the MT Fulmer (Mother Vessel), MT Cape Bradley (1st Daughter Vessel ), MT Aidin (2ndDaughter Vessel) and MT Dani 1(3rd Daughter Vessel) which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.”
Media & Publicity
25th March, 2014