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Subsidy Fraudsters Get 10 Years Jail term

A Lagos High Court judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu, sitting in Ikeja on Thursday has sentenced Walter Wagbatsoma and Adaoha Ugo-Nnadi to 10 years in prison for fuel subsidy fraud.

Asides from the sentence Justice Okunnu ordered restitution for Wagbatsoma’s company, Ontario Oil and Gas, and asked it to refund N754 million being the amount it had defrauded the Nigerian government.

Their sentencing follows charges brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1, 959, 377, 542, .63 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Sixty Three Kobo) from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 39.2 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

Early this year, Justice Okunnu had found the 1st defendant, Wagbatsama, the 2nd defendant, Ugo-Nnadi and their company, Ontario Oil and Gas guilty of the eight-count amended charge of fraud leveled against them by the anti-graft agency.

She however found co-defendant, Mr. Babafemi Fakuade, an official of the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) not guilty and acquitted him on the charges.

Drama however ensued in court when Ugo-Nnadi, the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, fainted in the dock as Justice Okunnu was about to read the sentence.

The situation forced the judge to defer the sentencing until today (January 26), even in the absence of Wagbatsoma who is presently in detention in Germany over his involvement in alleged money laundering in a multi-million pound fraud.

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