By Christopher Oji

The Federal High Court, Abuja has admitted three documents in the bribery allegations against the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Support Midstream Company Limited, Mr. Akintoye Akindele.

One of the documents showed that the N150 million that was allegedly transferred to the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a Superintendent of Police (SP), by Akintoye Akindele, was part payment of the debt he owed Summit Oil International Ltd and not meant to bribe the officer as alleged.

The court presided over by Justice Moduoe Osho-Adebiyi admitted the petition, which included a petition to the Inspector General (IG) of Police by Summit Oil International Ltd, original statement of Akindele to the police and a motion filed before a Nasarawa State High Court. All three documents were admitted and marked as exhibits A2, A3 and A4, respectively.

Akindele is standing trial on a one-count charge of bribing a police officer, to compromise his investigation on alleged diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01, belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd. The court admitted the documents, last Wednesday, at the resumption of cross examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1), Mr Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a Superintendent of Police (SP).

The judge had, on February 28, adjourned for the continuation of cross examination of the witness by the defendant’s lawyer.

Related News

At the resumed hearing, the senior lawyer confronted the witness with the petition, showing that the alleged indebtedness of her client is $5.6 million, while N73 million is reimbursement expenses.

The lawyer claimed that while in custody, Sini and his team had several meetings with the defendant and that on one occasion the defendant was asked how he intends to liquidate his debt to Summit Oil, after which the lawyer went ahead to tender the original statement Akindele made to the IG, 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).

Meanwhile, Sini denied that the police had set up a different panel to investigate the alleged N50 million bribe. The witness said since he was the one accusing Akindele of bribery, “we cannot be a judge in our own case”.

At the end of the cross examination, Justice Osho-Adebiyi adjourned the case to May 2 for the police to call their next witnesses.

Akindele is currently standing trial on a one count charge of bribery.

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 August 5 and 9, 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 and N73,543,763.25, you offered gratification of N150,000,000.00 and made part payment of N50,000,000.00 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.”