IKEJA -The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday said the signature of an oil marketer, Ifeanyi Anosike, was forged by one of the co-defendants to commit the N1.5 billion subsidy fraud.
The EFCC made the admission through one of its investigative officers, Mrs Oghara Eburu, at the resumption of trial of the marketers at an Ikeja High Court.
Anosike is being prosecuted alongside his firm — Anosyke Group of Companies, Emeka Chukwu, Ngozi Ekeoma and Dell Energy Ltd.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants had fraudulently obtained the money from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 15, 000 metric tonnes of petrol from Europe.
Led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness said Anosyke Group of Companies was given permit by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to import fuel.
Eburu said the fourth defendant (Chukwu) got the allocation, but under the authority of Anosike and his company, who could not execute it.
The witness said: “Chukwu went ahead to sell the paper to the third and fifth defendants (Ekeoma and Dell Energy Ltd).
“Anosike claimed not to have knowledge of the sale but Ekeoma and her company, Dell Energy, went ahead to execute the transaction in his name and that of his company.
“Eburu said they opened an account with Sterling Bank using Anosyke Group of Companies as the name of the account.’’
She said two staff members of Dell Energy were listed as signatories to the said account which was used for the transaction.
“The requisite documents used for opening the account was provided by Chukwu and submitted to the bank by Ekeoma.
“One of the documents used was a board resolution purported to have been signed by Anosike on a letterhead of Anosyke Group of Companies.
“Further investigation revealed that the signature was not that of Anosike,’’ she said.
According to her, other original letter heads have been presented by Anosike to the EFCC to cross-check with the one used for the account opening.
“Under forensic examination, it was found that the one used for processing the account was different from those that Anosyke Group uses in their businesses.’’
She, however, maintained that the transaction was jointly carried out by all the defendants, adding that they all benefited financially.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case to April 2 for continuation of trial. (NAN)