Abdullahi Arisekola Alao

* Court remands Alao-Arisekola’s son in EFCC custody

Abdullahi Arisekola Alao, son of late Ibadan business mogul and politician, Arisekola Alao, standing trial in a N1.1 billion subsidy fraud, on Monday opened his defence in a subsidy fraud case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The commission accused Alao and his company, Axe Energy Ltd, Opeyemi Ajuyah and Olanrewaju Olalusi of fraudulently obtaining subsidy payments amounting to N1.1 billion.

Ajuyah, who was facing charges alongside other defendants in the N1.1 billion fraud died in January 2017.

At Monday’s proceedings, a financial downstream expert in petrol operation, Sanni Sheriff, detailed before an Ikeja High Court the guidelines and requirements for payment of oil subsidy.

Sheriff while being led in evidence by the 1st defendant’s counsel, Olarewaju Ajanaku, told the court that Bill of Laden, short hand report endorsed by Petroleum product Pricing Regulatory Agency are the important documents in oil subsidy.

He further stated that documents used for payment of subsidy must carry the PPPRA stamp.

While being showed some exhibits in court, Sheriff identified the ones that met the requirements of payment of subsidy, stating that the documents originating the companies allegedly involved in the charge had the PPPRA endorsement.

While being cross-examined by the EFCC counsel, Mr S. A. Atteh, Sheriff said he was not there when all the exhibits shown to him were compiled.

The defence presented another witness, Ferdinard Udumze, a chief consultant of the Nigeria police force on forensics.

Udumze told the court that he received a letter and some exhibits addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Forensic department, Abuja, asking him to examine the signature and handwriting on the exhibits.

Udumze noted that after collecting the exhibits, he carried out forensic analysis on the exhibits and he was able to examine and compare them with the aid of some instruments.

Udumze stated that after his examination, he wrote a report that the signature and handwriting on the exhibits belong to one person.

EFCC Prosecutor, S.A Atteh however objected to the admissibility of the documents presented by the defence was not made available to the commission.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu therefore adjourned till July 24, 2017 and instructed Ajanaku to avail the prosecutor and other parties.

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