Emefun Etudo, a prosecution witness, on Tuesday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how a Charter Party Agreement, CPA, exposed alleged theft of $8.4million diesel oil by a foreign firm and five others.
The firm, Trafigura Beheer BV, Trafigura PTE Ltd, and their Nigerian associates – Mettle Energy and Gas, Renbrandt Ltd. and Jil Engineering and Oil Services Ltd -are facing three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen property.
Mr Etudo, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC witness, made the revelation at the continuation of his cross-examination by Bode Olanipekun, the defence counsel for Trafigura Beheer BV, Trafigura PTE Ltd.
He said the CPA exposed the alleged fraud perpetuated by the two oil marketers, Osahon Asemota and Yusuf Kwande, who were the Nigerian associates of the international oil company.
While responding to questions from Mr Olanipekun, the prosecution witness narrated how Messrs Asemota and Kwande, two of the defendants, diverted 10,000 metric tonnes of diesel oil belonging to the complainant Nadabo Energy Ltd to their personal use.
He said: “Exhibit P12, the Charter Party Agreement of Sichem Provece is what exposed the fraud of the defendants.
“It revealed that loading point of the vessel MT Benito was offshore Apapa, Lagos and not offshore Cotonou as they made us believe.
“The document further revealed that the Contract 179041 between Trafigura and Redbrandt is a pretence, a fraud and not a contract as Nadabo Energy was made to believe.
“The Charter Party Agreement was to carry out contract marked 179041 but the exercise was a sham.
Mr Etudo said Mr Kwande, one of the defendants, had in 2009 repeatedly revealed to the EFCC how the cargo containing the AGO was allegedly stolen by himself and his co-defendants.
“Kwande said it to my hearing and he also said it his written statements,” Mr Etudo said.
The EFCC, in the charges, accused the defendants of fraudulently converting the diesel oil at the office of Trafigura Beheer BV located at 20A Sinaro Daranijo Street, off Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to Rotimi Jacobs, EFCC lead prosecution counsel, the defendants committed the offences of stealing from Oct. 22, 2008 to Dec. 15, 2008
Mr Jacobs said the stolen diesel oil, worth $8.4million US dollars, was the property of Nadabo Energy Limited and was kept in the legal custody of the now defunct Spring Bank, Victoria Island.
He noted that the offences contravened Sections 383(1), 427 and 516 of the Criminal Code of 2004.
Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until December 13 for continuation of trial, following Mr Etudo’s evidence.