Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngali, the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, was on Thursday sent to jail for 10 years for defrauding the Federal Government of N754 million in oil subsidy transactions. Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court handed down the verdict, the first conviction since the massive oil subsidy fraud trial allegedly perpetuated by oil marketers began in 2012. Walter Wagbatsoma, Ugo-Ngadi’s co-defendant and the Chairman of Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, was absent in court for the judgment. He is currently being held in the United Kingdom on charges relating to a £12 million National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Trust fraud.
Okunnu, in her judgment, sentenced Wagbatsoma and Ugo-Ngadi to a minimum of 10 years imprisonment for the six– count charge proffered against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
For each of the counts of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, the defendants are sentenced to 10 years in prison. For each of the counts of obtaining money by false pretences, the defendants are sentenced 10 years in prison.
For the count of conspiracy to commit forgery, the defendants are sentenced to seven years in prison, for the offence of forgery, the defendants are sentenced to eight years in prison, she said.
The judge noted that the total sentences passed were 69 years for each of the defendants, but that the sentences would run concurrently. On Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, Okunnu said:
I hereby give an order of restitution to Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd. “The N754 million which was defrauded by the company should be returned to the Federal Government.
After the sentence was pronounced,counsel to Ugo-Ngadi, Mr Y.A. Kadiri, made an attempt to complain to Justice Okunnu about the treatment given his client by the EFCC.