Court Admits Documents in Evidence Against Oil Magnate, Akindele Alleged N150m Bribe

Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi, presiding over a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), admitted three documents as exhibits in the bribery trial of Mr. Akintoye Akindele, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited, on Wednesday.

The documents, comprising a petition to the Inspector General of Police by Summit Oil International Ltd, Akindele’s original statement to the Police, and a Motion filed before a Nasarawa State High Court, were marked as exhibits A2, A3, and A4, respectively.

This admission occurred during the continuation of cross-examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1), Mr. Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a Superintendent of Police (SP).

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Recall that on February 28, the judge had adjourned for the continuation of cross-examination by the defendant’s lawyer, Mrs. Funmi Quadri, SAN.

Akindele, an oil magnate, is facing trial on a one-count charge of bribing a Police officer to compromise an investigation into the alleged diversion of $5,636,397.01 belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, the senior lawyer confronted the witness with the petition, which indicated that her client’s indebtedness amounted to $5.6 million and N73 million. The $5.6 million represented the debt owed, while the N73 million covered reimbursement expenses.

She alleged that while in custody, Sini and his team had multiple meetings with the defendant, during which the defendant was questioned about his plans to settle his debt to Summit Oil.

“I can’t remember”, Sini responded.

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

“He said so in a statement”, the witness added.

Mrs. Quadri proceeded to submit the original statement made by Akindele to the Inspector General of Police (IGP). In this statement, the defendant asserted that the funds he transferred to an account provided by Sini were intended to demonstrate his willingness to settle part of the $5.6 million and N73 million owed to Summit Oil International Ltd.

Akindele clarified that the N50 million transferred to Blissdon Nigeria Ltd, an account allegedly provided by Sini, was a gesture to exhibit his readiness to address the purported debt.

Meanwhile, Sini refuted the assertion that the police established a separate panel to investigate the alleged N50 million bribe due to his involvement. He emphasized that, as the accuser in the bribery case against Akindele, it would be inappropriate for the police to preside over their own investigation.

Concluding the cross-examination, Justice Osho-Adebiyi adjourned the proceedings to April 18, allowing the police to present their next witnesses.

The one count charge marked: CR/595/2023, reads:
“That you Akintoye Akindele, male, 49 years, MD/CEO of Duport Midstream Company Limited of D2 Mambilla Close Osborne Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos between 5th and 9th August 2023 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court while being investigated by SP Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini and team on a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police FIB by Summit Oil International Ltd on allegation of diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01 Million USD and N73,543,763.25,

“you offered gratification of N150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) and made part payment of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) to SP Ibrahim Sini, a public servant in circumstance and for the purpose of allowing you to escape abroad and to write a report in your favour and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.”