Fuel subsidy fraud: Oil tycoon gets 69 years jail term

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Oil magnate, Walter Wagbatsoma and Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngali have been sentenced to a total of 69 years imprisonment by an Ikeja high court.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu handed down the jail sentences on Thursday while delivering judgment in a N754 million fuel subsidy fraud preferred against the convicts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The convicts were the first set of oil magnates to be convicted and sentenced to jail by the court on fuel subsidy fraud offences since government commenced prosecution of suspects in 2012.

The EFCC had charged the convicts before the court on a six count offence bordering on conspiracy to obtain money from the federal government by false pretense, obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit forgery.

Wagbatsoma and Ugo-Ngali, Chairman and Managing Director, Ontario Oil and Gas Limited respectively.

They were convicted two weeks ago alongside their company by the court of the offences brought against them by the EFCC.

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When the judge came back to pronounce judgement, after a short break, Ugo-Ngali collapsed and fainted, and was rushed to the hospital.

Ugo-Ngali, the second defendant in the matter, was sentenced to ten years in prison by JusticeOkunnu   for defrauding the federal government of N754million in oil subsidy transactions.

Wagbatsoma, the first defendant was absent in court for the sentencing.

He is currently being held in the United Kingdom on charges relating to a £12 million foreign exchange transactions.

Delivering her judgement in the matter yesterday, Justice Okunnu sentenced Wagbatsoma and Ugo-Ngali to a minimum of ten years in prison for the six – count charge proffered against them by the EFCC.

“For each of the counts of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences the defendants are sentenced to ten years in prison.

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