Two witnesses were on Friday called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to testify against the Chairman of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Philips Fatuyi, charged with fraud to the tune of N43.5m.

It would be recalled that Fatuyi, alongside his company, Oceanview Oil and Gas Ltd are standing trial before Justice Mojisola Dada.

Led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Owede, the first prosecution witness, Princewill Nmerenwanne, a business consultant, confirmed that he transferred N43.5 million to Fatuyi sometimes in 2016.

The witness also confirmed that Fatuyi was to change the money into U.S. dollars and return the same, but did not do so.

According to the business consultant, “The money was transferred to Fatuyi’s company account in three tranches of N502,000, N25 million and N18 million on the same day.

“Mr Elochukwu Okoye, the second prosecution witness, made the transfers at the exchange rate of N440 to the dollar at that time.

“Fatuyi was supposed to remit 98,870 dollars as equivalent to the US which we never received.

“Elochukwu Okoye is a bureau de change operator with WAPCIL Nig. Ltd and the owner of Elebana Unique Ventures Nig. Ltd.

“We approached the law enforcement agency and Fatuyi was invited and detained, but nothing came out of it.

“I also travelled to Abuja to complain to the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector-General of Police’s office, and he was invited and detained, but was granted freedom after a few days.

“I had to run back to Lagos to complain to the EFCC. He was arrested, and the issue dragged back and forth until he agreed to pay 8,000 dollars monthly; he paid just once and never paid again.

“I wrote a petition to the EFCC against the defendant and his company and the matter also dragged at the EFCC for some time before he agreed to pay the money in instalments.”

While being cross-examined by the anti-graft agency through its counsel, Olarenwaju Ajanaku, Nmerenwanne said he made preliminary findings as to why Fatuyi was not repaying the money and that he did not transfer the money by himself.

The witness said, “I did not transfer the money myself. It was Okoye who transferred the money to the defendant and I made some findings and found out that Fatuyi has houses at Oke-Afa in Isolo, Lagos, but I did not confirm if he has a hotel in Ikeja.

“What I am interested in is retrieving my money. What I was hoping is that the defendant could sell the houses and give me my money.

Also testifying, Elochukwu Okoye, revealed that he knew Fatuyi in the course of the transaction and that he sent the N43.5 million to his company.

He told the court that the petition he wrote to the EFCC was signed by the first prosecution witness and added that a meeting was scheduled by the commission on which the defendant agreed to pay 8,000 dollars monthly, but failed as promised.

The matter has been adjourned to September 30, 2022, for the continuation of trial.

Count one of the charges reads: “Fatuyi Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, on or about the 28th day of September 2016, at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of N43,502,000.00 (Forty-Three Million Five Hundred and Two Thousand Naira) from Elochukwu Okoye, and Elebana Unique Ventures Nigeria Limited, on behalf of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited, under the false representation that you would sell to WAPCIL Nigeria Limited $98,870,00 (Ninety-Eight Thousand United States of American Dollars), a representation you knew to be false.”

Count two of the charge reads: ” Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, on or about the 28th day of September 2016, at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court stole the sum N43,502,000.00 (Forty-Three Million Five Hundred and Two Thousand Naira) property of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited.”

All rights reserved. This material and other digital volumes on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from NEWSHUBNAIJA.

Contact: newshubnaija76@gmail.com or 09158670365