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  • Crime
  • Updated: April 17, 2024

N150m bribery trial: Court admits petition against oil magnate Akindele

N150m bribery trial: Court admits petition against oil magna

On Wednesday, Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court allowed three papers as exhibits in the bribery trial of Akintoye Akindele, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited.

The documents, which comprised Summit Oil International Ltd's appeal to the Inspector General of Police, Akindele's original statement to the police, and a motion filed before a Nasarawa State High Court, were allowed and designated as exhibits A2, A3, and A4, respectively.

The papers were permitted by the court when the first prosecution witness (PW1), Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a Superintendent of Police (SP), started his cross-examination.

It should be noted that on February 28, the judge deferred the cross-examination of the witness by the defendant's lawyer, Mrs Funmi Quadri, SAN.

Akindele, an oil billionaire, is on trial on a one-count accusation of bribing a police officer to impede his investigation into the alleged diversion of $5,636,397.01 belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd.

At Wednesday's sessions, the senior lawyer presented the witness with the petition proving her client's debts to the petitioner are $5.6 million and N73 million. The amount owing is believed to be $5.6 million, while the reimbursement charges are said to be N73 million.

She said that while in detention, Sini and his team met with the defendant numerous times, and on one occasion, the defendant was asked how he planned to pay off his obligation to Summit Oil.

“I can’t remember”, Sini responded.

The witness further disputed that the defendant used the police's computer to draft a letter promising to settle the amount.

“He said so in a statement”, the witness added.

Quadri then presented the original statement Akindele made to the IGP, in which the defendant claimed that the money he transferred to an account provided by Sini was to demonstrate his willingness to pay a portion of the $5.6 million and N73 million owed to the petitioner (Summit Oil International Ltd.).

According to him, the N50 million he paid to Blissdon Nigeria Ltd, an account allegedly given by Sini, was to indicate his readiness to settle the purported debts of $5.6 million and N73 million.

Meanwhile, Sini disputed that the police had formed a separate panel to probe the alleged N50 million payment after he was found culpable. According to the witness, he was the one accusing Akindele of bribery, “we can not be a judge in our own case."

After cross-examination, Justice Osho-Adebiyi adjourned the case until April 18, when the police could call their next witnesses.

The one-count charge marked: CR/595/2023, reads: “That you Akintoye Akindele, male, 49 years, MD/CEO of Duport Midstream Company Limited of D2 Mambilla Close Osborne Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos between 5th and 9th August 2023 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court while being investigated by SP Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini and team on a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police FIB by Summit Oil International Ltd on allegation of diversion of the sum of USD 5,636,397.01 Million and N73,543,763.25, you offered gratification of N150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) and made part payment of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) to SP Ibrahim Sini, a public servant in circumstance and to allow you to escape abroad and to write a report in your favour and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.” 

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