EFCC case with Nigerian billionaire, others drags on
– Nigerian billionaire, Walter Wagbatsama’s battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is still on
– The EFCC is leaving no stone upturned to bring Wagbatsama and his allies to book
– The case which is still in court has been adjourned to Friday, October 14
Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos State High court, sitting in Ikeja yesterday, September 30, adjourned proceedings in the case of conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretence, forgery and uttering false documents brought against Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer and their company, Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, by the EFCC.
The case was adjourned to October 14 according to a statement by the anti-graft body to journalists.
EFCC boss ibrahim Magu
The adjournment was said to have been prompted by fiery exchanges between the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, and counsel to the first defendant, Mr Onyeke, over the continued absence of Wagbatsama from trial.
Jacobs had filed an application urging the court to continue proceedings without the first defendant whom he claimed had absconded from justice.
He noted that despite the court being in possession of the first defendant’s international passport, he still travelled out of the country to four countries – France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany – with four different passports claiming to be critically ill without informing the court.
He informed the court that the first defendant was arrested in Germany by United Kingdom authorities, extradited and placed on house arrest for un-concluded criminal charges.
He thenurged the court to continue proceedings without the first defendant and to compel the defence counsel to produce Dr Amodu, the physician who referred the first defendant to Germany for medical treatment.
Replying to Javcos claims, Mr Onyeke dismissed the submission by the prosecution on the whereabouts of the first defendant as mere market-place gossip.
H told the court that his client had not absconded from justice but merely travelled to Germany for medical treatment.
However, Mr Onyeke however confirmed that his client was arrested in Germany by UK authorities only on suspicion, adding that he had not been charged with any offence.
Wagbatsama and his allies are facing trial for allegedly obtaining N340million by false pretence from the Federal Government, on July 7, 2010 purporting the money to be fuel subsidy accruals payable to Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
Meanwhile, a recent media report suggests that President Muhammadu Buhari might unknowingly appoint a former government official indicted in the past for corruption as one of the head of the aviation agencies.