Arraigned oil marketers query court’s jurisdiction

Two oil marketers, Aro Bamidele and Abiodun Bankole, charged with N1.3bn fuel subsidy fraud at a Lagos High Court in Ikeja want the court to strike out the case for lack of jurisdiction.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the duo alongside their company, A.B.S Investment Company Limited, before Justice Lateefat Okunnu.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the accused fraudulently obtained the money from the Federal Government for the importation of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

Their counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe, (SAN), told Okunnu on Thursday that his clients had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

He said the charge was defective and that the EFCC lacked the competence to prosecute them for the offence.

Their counsel said the EFCC had not obtained the fiat from the state to prosecute the offences in its courts.

Idigbe said, “The court does not have jurisdiction to entertain the charge.

“The entire charge is grossly defective and incurably bad since no fiat was obtained from the Attorney-General of Lagos State.”

He added that the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had no competence to prosecute the defendants before the court.

Jacobs said he was just served with the application and therefore needed time to enable him to file his response.

Culled from Punch

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