N1.9bn subsidy fraud: Wagbatsoma, others know fate Friday

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, will, on Friday, deliver judgment in a N1.9bn oil subsidy theft charge brought against Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ndagi and Ontario Oil & Gas Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They were alleged to have, on July 7, 2010, obtained the sum of N340m by false pretence from the Federal Government, purporting the money to be subsidy payable to Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited.

The offence is among several others brought against them by the EFCC in a case of conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretence, forgery and altering of documents.

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Justice Okunnu had earlier dismissed all three applications filed on behalf of Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi and their company, Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited, challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the lower court as well as a no-case submission argued by the defendants.

Their attempt to also use the Court of Appeal to stop their trial also failed.

In a lead ruling delivered by Justice Amina Augie on April 30, 2015, the appellate court again dismissed their applications to stop the trial, by affirming the jurisdiction of the lower court, and ordered him and others to “go and face trial.”