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Oil firm’s GMD charged with attempt to defraud CBN of $100m

The Federal Government has charged the Group Managing Director (GMD) of an oil marketing firm, Triumph Oil and Gas Madgascar Nigeria Limited, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, with an attempt to defraud the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of $100 million.

Mahmud, who was arraigned before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on a six-count charge, was also accused of forging the signatures of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele; the Special Assistant to the President, Sabiu Yusuf and the GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Mahmud, who allegedly claimed to be a Deputy Governor in CBN, was said to have taken the forged documents to the apex bank to demand for the payment of $100 million for a contract he claimed his firm was awarded by the apex bank.

Mahmud was said to have also claimed that his firm was engaged to monitor and supervise major Federal Government’s infrastructure projects, forfeited assets and government businesses for which the CBN approved the payment of the $100 million.

Following Mahmud’s claims, the CBN was said to have referred the case to the EFCC for investigation, and the anti-graft agency reportedly found that his firm not registered and the documents he presented could not be authenticated.

Mahmud, who pleaded not guilty and was granted bail by Justice Halilu Yusuf, was yesterday ordered to be returned to the Kuje Correctional Centre, following his inability to meet the bail conditions.

At the mention of the case, prosecuting lawyer Benjami Manji said the matter was for trial and that he was ready as his witness was in court.

Defence lawyer, J. K. Kolawole, pleaded for time to enable him familiarise himself with the case. The lawyer claimed he was not familiar with details of the matter.

With Manji not opposing the defence lawyer’s application, Justice Yusuf adjourned till January 24 for definite trial, during which an official of the CBN is expected to testify for the prosecution.

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