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Former Shell Staff, Adebanya To Be Rearraigned Over N1.9 Fraud

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The trial of a former staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Chidi Adabanya, who, in connivance with some officials of the Bayelsa State Government, allegedly received the sum of N1.9billion from the oil giant through a deceptive consultancy contract for development permit in the Gbanran- Ubie project, is to continue tomorrow before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Adabanya was charged before Justice Gladys Olotu on June 18, 2012 on a 22-count charge bordering on money laundering along with Forstech Technical Nigeria Limited, Gastroil Ventures Limited, Andrew Feyaikebena Ebakpa; Ibe Uzoma, Ezekiel Hart, Presley Ebakpa, Kwokwo Bolouwenimo and Kwokwo Ebikibina, Bikyiis Integrated Services Limited and Fambo Integrated Services Limited.

At the last hearing of the case before Justice Olotu proceeded on retirement, the prosecution presented two witnesses, Francis Onodingene and Abubakar Omede.

Onodingene, a former manager of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Warri, in his testimony told the court how Adabanya influenced the activation of the dormant account of his company, Forstech Technical Limited purposely to obtain the N1.9billion payment expected from the oil giant.

He revealed how the money was finally paid into the account in three batches and how Adabanya used his alleged mistress, Uzo Ibie, to operate the account.
Omede, an investigator with the EFCC, in his own testimony told the court that there was no trace of Forstech in the address indicated as its office in Warri, Delta State, adding that the supposed residence of the two directors of the company could also not be ascertained.

The case had to be reassigned to Justice Adeniyi Ademola after Justice Olotu was removed from the bench.

When the case was brought up for re-arraignment on June 3, 2014, only Benneth Ezekiel Hart appeared before the court, while other accused persons, including Adabanya, declined to appear and also refused to send their counsel to court.

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Adebanya is currently embroiled in a controversy having accused his former employees, She’ll, of evading tax. he also accused operatives of the EFCC, including a director, of demanding bribe to influence the outcome of investigations into the matter.

The EFCC denied the accusation, claiming that Adebanya was trying to distract attention from his prosecution.

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