SAN FRANCISCO, February 9, (THEWILL) – The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal have both upturned the conviction of oil trader and billionaire, Walter Wagbatsoma, his company, Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited as well as Adaoha Ugo-Ndagi, the Managing Director.
They were convicted and sentenced last year by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court for N1.9 billion oil subsidy fraud.
They were also ordered to repay N754 million to the federal government.
In two separate rulings delivered on Friday mourning, the Supreme Court in their “No Case Submission” appeal set aside the ruling of the Lagos State High Court.
The Apex court ruled that the oil executives and Ontario did not get a fair trial in their conviction and sentencing to ten years in prison by Justice Okunnu.
Similarly, the Court of Appeal Lagos Division Discharged and Acquitted Walter, Adaoha and Ontario in the suit preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Wagbatsoma is presently serving a 3-year sentence in the United Kingdom after he was convicted last year for money laundering. He claimed in court that he received over 400, 000 pounds in multiple transactions from a Nigerian money changer based in Dubai in exchange for naira but did not know that the funds were stolen from the NHS Trust Fund. It is common practice in Nigeria to use informal means to obtain foreign exchange because they are scarce in banks and licensed dealers.
The jury ruled in favour of prosecution that he was a part of the gang that stole at least £12 million from the NHS. THEWILL gathered that Wagbatsoma will appeal that conviction.
Adaoha who has been serving her sentence is scheduled to be released Saturday, THEWILL can report.
More to Follow…