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Alleged N150m bribery: Court admits documents in evidence against oil magnate, Akindele

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, admitted three documents in evidence in the bribery trial of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited, Mr Akintoye Akindele.

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

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the documents included a petition to the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police by Summit Oil International Ltd, original statement made by 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 Feb. 28, adjourned for the continuation of cross examination of SP Sini by the defendant (Akindele)’s lawyer, Mrs Funmi Quadri, SAN.

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

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Quadri confronted the witness with the 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, Sini and his team had several meetings with the defendant and in one of the occasions, Akindele was asked how he intended to liquidate his debt to Summit Oil.

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

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

Quadri then went ahead to tender the original statement Akindele made to the I-G, wherein the defendant claimed that the money he had transferred to an account provided by 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 Akindele in the statement said, “the N50 million he transferred to Blissdon Nigeria Ltd, an account said to have been provided by Sini, was to demonstrate his willingness to pay the alleged debt of $5.6 million and N73 million.”

Meanwhile, 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 Akindele of bribery, “we can not be a judge in our own case”.

At the end of cross examination, Justice 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 5th and 9th August, 2023 in Abuja, Akindele, while being investigated by SP Sini and his team on a petition submitted by Summit Oil International Ltd on allegation of diversion of the sum of debt of $5,636,397.01 Million USD and N73,543,763.25, offered gratification of N150 million.

Akindele was alleged to have made part payment of N50 million to 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.

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Written by Nike

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