By Idebaneria Cynthia
A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of N1.96 billion allegedly belonging to an oil company, Ontario Oil and Gas, over alleged fraudulent sale of refined petroleum.
Justice Hadiza Shagari, issued the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking forfeiture of the funds.
“That the property mentioned in paragraphs nine of the affidavit viz, Renoir Logistics Ltd currently under investigation be forfeited pending the determination of the investigation and possible prosecution of the case.
“That the said property attached forfeited, ad-interim be managed and controlled by the EFCC,’’ the judge held.
In the suit labeled FHC/L/CS/1464/17, the commission joined as first and second respondents respectively, Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, and Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngadi, Managing Director of the company.
An affidavit of urgency elicited by an investigating officer of the EFCC, Mr Abdukarim Acheneje in support of the ex parte motion, chronicles as follows:
“That the EFCC received a petition from Ms Joan Ganadanu, a legal practitioner, against the second respondent, complaining of diversion and conversion of proceeds of sale of refined petroleum products valued at N1.96 billion.
“That the petition alleged that the first respondent is a customer to Union Bank Plc, of Stallion Plaza branch, Marina Lagos.
“That union bank granted a loan facility to the first respondent in the tune of 70 million US dollars to import and/or purchase locally refined petroleum products.
“That the loan was to be repaid from sale of the products and the second respondent guaranteed repayment of the said loan personally.
“That further investigations revealed that the respondent have lifted the product on the order financed by the bank for 10,000 metric tons of AGO, since July 2016.
“That the respondent have sold same, but have refused to lodge the proceeds in the company’s account, and pay back the facility to union bank among other financial infractions.”