An Ikeja high court heard Monday how two oil marketers, David Nwachukwu and Frank Okeke, allegedly diverted N1.042 billion meant for rentals accrued to a leasing company and haulage services of three companies for personal use.
Nwachukwu and Okeke are facing a 14 count charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing contrary to section 409 and punishable under 281(1) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State 2011 preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Raliat Adebiyi.
They were arraigned before the court alongside their companies, Haulage Oil and Gas and Franviok Limited.
The defendants were also charged for retention of proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to Section 17 (b) of the EFCC (establishment) Act, 2004.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, a witness of the commission, Orji Chukwuma, told the court that a petition, written by Leasing Company of Nigeria Limited (now LECON financial Service Limited) over alleged diversion of funds was assigned to his team to investigate.
He said, “Upon receiving the petition, a lot of investigations were carried out. We investigated staff of Total Plc, LECON, Bank of Industry. We recovered some documents such as internal memo. Some of the people we interrogated made statements. I came across one Bassy Effiong, we interviewed him on the product he sold.
“We also invited OANDO in the cause of investigation and there was exchange of correspondents. Forte Oil, Eternal Plc also gave us their statement and the agreement between the Eternal Plc with the third defendant”, he added.
Oyedepo asked the court to admit the documents in evidence.
The court granted his request and admitted a letter dated March 27, 2015 written by Eternal Plc to the Head of Operation, EFCC and another written by Forte Oil to EFCC among other documents as exhibit p1 to p36.
Justice Adebiyi subsequently adjourned further hearing till October 2, 2018.
Nwachukwu, Okeke and their companies were alleged to have sometimes between November 2011 and September 2014, with dishonest intent converted to their own use a total sum of N1,042,810, 463.54, which formed part of rentals accrued to Leasing Company of Nigeria Limited (now LECON financial Service Limited).
The money, the anti-graft agency said was for the use of their truck to provide haulage services for Eternal Oil Plc, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc and also for the use of Mack Trucks in their fleets to provide haulage services for Total Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc.