Justice C.A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, adjourned to December 16, 2020 to rule on the admissibility or otherwise of two documents sought to be tendered in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against Abubakar Ali Peters, Chairman , Nadabo Energy, and his company, who are standing trial for an alleged N1.4 billion subsidy fraud.
Peters alongside his company, Nababo Energy Limited, were arraigned on December 10, 2012 for offences bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of forged documents to the tune of N1, 464, 961, 978.24.
The defendant allegedly obtained the money from the Federal Government by falsely claiming that it represented the subsidy accrued to them.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
At the resumed sitting today, the prosecution counsel, S.K. Atteh, had sought to tender two investigation activity letters through the fifth prosecution witness, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
The two letters, the witness had earlier testified, were sent to Q & Q Services Nigeria Limited, the inspectors of the transaction by the defendant.
According to the witness, “After studying the genuine documents, we wrote an investigation activities letter to Q & Q Control Services Limited attaching a copy of exhibit J9 for authentication.
“Q & Q responded in writing and confirmed that exhibit J9, the Certificate of Quality is genuine.
“Based on that response we wrote another letter of investigation activities to Q & Q to furnish us with all the shipping documents in relation to the defendants.
“Q & Q responded in writing attaching several documents to include among others, certificate of quantity transfer, ull report before and after loading of MT Vanessa and also the ull report of the mother vessel.”
The witness identified the two letters, and also confirmed that they were written on the EFCC letter-head, and that Q & Q acknowledged the receipt of the letters as indicated on the surface of the copies sought to be tendered in evidence.
However, counsel for the defendant, Habeeb Oredola, raised objection to the admissibility of the two letters, arguing that “the documents are improperly certified, based on Section 89 (e) and Section 104 (c) of the Evidence Act”.
Atteh, citing the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Sule Lamido 2015, however, argued that “the letters sought to be tendered were acknowledged by the recipient and the original of the letters are with the possession of power”.
“We urge my lord to admit the letters.”
After listening to the arguments, Justice Balogun adjourned till December 16, 2020 to give ruling, and also fixed January 26 and 27, 2021 and February 2 and 3, 2021 for continuation of trial.