Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wanted alleged subsidy fraudster fled to Canada -EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  on Thursday told a Lagos High Court that an accused person being prosecuted for separate fraud charges, including an alleged N979.6m fuel subsidy fraud, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, had fled to Canada.
The EFCC counsel,  Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, said this before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo while opposing an application by the accused seeking an order of stay of execution of a bench warrant issued for the arrest of the fuel marketer.
The EFCC is prosecuting Ogunbambo alongside Habila Theck and their company, Fargo Energy Ltd.
Ogunbambo is also standing trial for separate bank and fuel subsidy fraud charges before two other judges of the Lagos High Court.
The anti-graft agency had declared Ogunbambo wanted following the bench warrant issued against him when he repeatedly failed to attend his trial. His co-accused, Theck, had always been present in court.
Jackson told Onigbanjo on Thursday that the EFCC had not been able to execute the bench warrant against the accused.

He said the intelligence gathered indicated that the accused had fled to Canada.
Jackson said, “We have deposed in our affidavit that intelligence available to the EFCC is that the defendant (Ogunbambo) has left the country to Canada.
“The commission is concerned because of the number of cases we have filed against him.
“He has abused the liberty of being granted bail and his action is making the criminal law to look like a toothless bulldog.”
The bench warrant was issued against the accused on February 10.
However the accused person’s lawyer Mr. Raphael Oluyede, had on February 11 filed a notice of appeal against the judgment and also a stay of execution of the bench warrant.
Moving the application on Thursday, Oluyede urged the court to restrain the EFCC from arresting the accused pending when his appeal against the order of the bench warrant would be determined.
He said this was pending the hearing and determination of Ogunbambo’s appeal against the bench warrant which had been filed before the Court of Appeal, Lagos.
He said,  ”Whether or not the bench warrant was validly made or not is a question presently before the court of appeal.
“The prosecution (EFCC) have rushed to take steps to ensure that the result of the appeal will be nugatory.”

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