Subsidy Fraud: Court picks January 26 for hearing on oil magnates’ applications


Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Wednesday fixed January 26 for hearing of pending applications filed by the convicted oil magnates, Walter Wagbatsoma and Ada Ugo-Ndagi.

Wagbatsoma and Ugo-Ndagi are Chairman and Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited respectively.

They were convicted alongside their company for defrauding the Federal Government of N754 million during the fuel subsidy regime.

Counsel to the convicts, A.D Onyeke, told the judge that Ugo-Ndagi is not fit to appear in court on Wednesday for sentencing.

Onyeke based his submission on the medical reports that emanated from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and Havana Specialist Hospital, Surulere, Lagos.

He said the medical reports were already before the court, stressing that from the documents, “it is evident that the convicted Ugo-Ndagi is not fit at this time to appear before the court to get her sentence.”

Onyeke then proceeded to inform Justice Okunnu of pending applications filed by the convicted persons before the court which he said “required to be argued on one way or the other.”

Counsel to the EFCC,  Oladipupo Yeye, who confirmed service of the said applications, however prayed the court to give the commission some time to study and respond to the applications in question.

After taking the submissions of parties, Justice Okunnu agreed with the prosecution that he needed time to study and respond to the applications.

She therefore fixed January 26 for hearing of the applications.

The conviction is the first of its kind since the prosecution of oil subsidy fraud charges began in 2012.

Wagbatsoma had in recent months been absent in court as he was believed to have been apprehended by the Interpol during a trip to Germany on June 6, 2016.

He is currently being held in the United Kingdom on charges relating to a 12 million pounds National Health Insurance Scheme Trust Fund fraud.