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Alleged N150 Million Bribe: Court admits documents in evidence against oil magnate Akindele

The offence is punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.

• April 17, 2024
LEGISLATIVE GAVEL
LEGISLATIVE GAVEL[CREDIT ; WALLPAPERS.COM]

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) admitted three documents as evidence in the bribery trial of the managing director and chief executive officer (MD/CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited, Akintoye Akindele, on Wednesday.

Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi admitted the documents and marked them as exhibits accordingly during the cross-examination of the 1st prosecution witness (PW1), Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a superintendent of police (SP).

The documents included a petition to the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police by Summit Oil International Ltd., an original statement made by Mr Akindele to the police and a motion filed before a Nasarawa State High Court.

They were admitted and marked as Exhibits A2, A3 and A4, respectively.

The judge had, on February 28, adjourned for the continuation of the cross-examination of SP Sini by the defendant’s (Akindele) lawyer, Funmi Quadri, SAN.

Mr Akindele is standing trial on a one-count charge of bribing a police official in order to compromise his investigation into the alleged diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01, belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Ms Quadri confronted the witness with a petition showing that the indebtedness of her client, according to the petitioner, is $5.6 million and N73 million.

While the $5.6 million is said to be the debt owed, the N73 million is said to be reimbursement expenses.

The senior lawyer alleged that while in custody, Mr Sini and his team had several meetings with the defendant and on one of those occasions, Mr Akindele was asked how he intended to liquidate his debt to Summit Oil.

But the witnesses said: “I can’t remember.”

Mr Sini also denied that the defendant used a computer belonging to the police to write a letter undertaking to repay the debt.

Ms Quadri then went ahead to tender the original statement Mr Akindele made to the I-G, wherein the defendant claimed that the money he had transferred to an account provided by Mr Sini was to demonstrate his willingness to pay part of the $5.6 million and N73 million owed the petitioner (Summit Oil International Ltd.).

She said Mr Akindele, in the statement, said, “The N50 million he transferred to Blissdon Nigeria Ltd., an account said to have been provided by Mr Sini, was to demonstrate his willingness to pay the alleged debt of $5.6 million and N73 million.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sini denied that the police had set up a different panel to investigate the alleged N50 million bribe because he was found complicit.

According to the witness, since he was the one accusing Mr Akindele of bribery, “we can not be judges in our own case.”

At the end of the cross-examination, Ms Osho-Adebiyi adjourned to April 18 for the police to call their next witness.

In the charge marked CR/595/2023, count one alleged that between August 5th and 9th, 2023, in Abuja, Mr Akindele, while being investigated by SP Sini and his team on a petition submitted by Summit Oil International Ltd. on the allegation of diversion of the sum of debt of $5,636,397.01 million and N73,543,763.25, offered gratification of N150 million.

Mr Akindele was alleged to have made a partial payment of N50 million to Mr Sini, a public servant, for the purpose of allowing him to escape abroad and to write a report in his favour.

The offence is punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.

(NAN)

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