Criminal Law

Alleged N43.5m fraud: NOGASA chair, Fatuyi Phillips, gets N20m bail

Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, granted bail to one Fatuyi Yemi Philips, Chairman, Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, who is being prosecuted for an alleged N43.5m fraud, in the sum of N20million.

Phillips alongside his firm, Oceanview Oil and Gas Limited, were arraigned on April 7, 2022, on two counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N43,502,000.

Count one reads: “Fatuyi Yemi 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 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, a representation you knew to be false.”

Count two reads: “Fatuyi Yemi 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 of N43, 502,000.00, property of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

At today’s proceedings, the defence counsel, O. Ajanaku, moved the bail application of the defendant dated April 7, 2022.

“We urge your lordship to admit the first defendant applicant to bail and for such other order as your lordship may make,” he said.

He further argued that the defendant, by the 1999 Constitution, was “presumed innocent of all charges until proven otherwise”.

Opposing the bail application, counsel for the EFCC, I.N. Ubabudu, urged the Court to “dismiss the application as lacking in merit”.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Dada granted the defendant bail in the sum of N20 million, with two sureties in like sum who must be resident within its jurisdiction and must present three years’ evidence of tax payment.

A lien was also ordered to be placed on their respective bank accounts.

The defendant was further ordered to submit his passport to the custody of the respondent.

The case has been adjourned till June 17, 2022, for trial.

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