Alleged Fraud: Court Orders EFCC to Investigate Oil Company

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate an oil company, Danium Energy Services Limited, and its marketer, Kehinde Ogbor, for alleged fraudulent misrepresentations of fact.

Justice Dehinde Dipeolu granted the order after entertaining an ex parte application filed by the CBN-appointed management of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc through its lawyer, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi.

The lawyer had exhibited before the court a Memorandum of Settlement and Consent Judgment where Kehinde Ogbor made false representations of some properties while entering the said terms of settlement before the Court.

Union Bank had accused the defendants of allegedly fraudulently making false representations in the Memorandum of Settlement dated March 6, 2018, and the Terms of Settlement dated April 23, 2018, which was adopted as Consent Judgment of the court on April 25, 2018, with fraudulent title documents.

The judge ordered the anti-graft agency to investigate the alleged fraudulent misrepresentations made by the defendants and submit its investigation report to the court within 90 days or any other time as may be extended by the court.

The judge also granted an order mandating Ogbor to submit his passport or travel documents to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation by the EFCC or as may be directed by the court on the ground that he has become a flight risk.

Justice Dipeolu further directed the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to flag the defendant’s International Passport or any travel document and or restrain him upon sighting at any international airport or any territorial border or any point of exit that can be used to depart Nigeria and present him to the court pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation by the EFCC.

In an affidavit attached to the suit and deposed to by a lawyer, Patrick Mgbeoma, in the firm of AAA Chambers, the plaintiff averred that the first defendant applied for and was granted loan facilities for $24,000,000 for the importation of Gasoil for onward supply to confirmed Offtaker-Bodej Investments Limited.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to repay the loan as and when due, thereby resulting in their indebtedness to it in the sum of N16.8 billion, which led to the execution of the Memorandum of Settlement.

The bank also alleged that the failure of the defendants to pay back the loan as agreed further increased their indebtedness, with accruing interest to N20.7 billion as of July 24, 2023.

The plaintiff further maintained that the defendants used some properties, including a property identified as their Head Office Building located at 10 Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, as collateral in executing both the Memorandum of Settlement and the Consent Judgment but it was later discovered that the building belonged to a different company known as Sky Capital Financial Allied International Limited.

The plaintiff claimed, “It is pertinent to state that the actions of the first and second defendants in using fraudulent property title documents to obtain the loan facilities from the Plaintiff/Applicant amounts to receiving funds through false pretence and should be investigated by the EFCC.”

“That it is clear that the second defendant, the alter ego of the first defendant, had introduced fraudulent title documents alleged to belong to the third to fifth defendants to obtain the humongous facility from the Plaintiff/Applicant.”

“It is equally clear that the first and second defendants have fraudulently obtained loan facilities from the Plaintiff/Applicant albeit using fraudulent title documents for the properties,” the plaintiff alleged.