N1.7 billion Subsidy Fraud: Oil Magnate Slumps In Court
Oil magnate Mrs Ada Ugo-Ndali slumped in the dock yesterday shortly before she was convicted of a N1.7 billion subsidy fraud by a Lagos high court sitting in Ikeja.
Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos high court sitting in Ikeja has found Ugo-Ndali the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited alongside the chairman of the company Mr Walter Wagbatsoma, guilty of the N1.7 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Delivering judgement in the matter yesterday, the trial judge discharged and acquitted the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) representative, Fakuade Ebenezer of allegations of forgery.
After reading the judgement, Justice Okunnu stood the matter down for a 15- minutes break for allocutus plea by the convicted persons.
When the judge returned after the break to hear the defendant plea for mercy at 1:15pm., the second defendant, Ada Ugo-Ndagi suddenly slumped and fainted in the dock.When Ugo-Ngadi was finally revived, she was breathing heavily just as counsels were frantically calling for medical assistance and an ambulance.
She was later assisted out of the court by her lawyers into a waiting black jeep which sped out of the court premises.
The development forced Justice Okunnu to adjourned sentencing of the convicts till Monday.
Wagbatsoma, Ugo-Ndagi and the oil company were charged to court on July 7, 2010 for collecting N1,7 billion from the federal government as fuel subsidy payable to Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
They were arranged on an eight count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence from government, forgery and altering of documents.
Delivering judgement in the matter, Justice Okunnu said that the convicts defrauded the Federal Government of N754million in oil subsidy in a transactions totalling N1.7billion.
Source: The Nation