Lagos MD faints in court after judge found her guilty of N1.9bn fuel subsidy fraud

The Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, Mrs. Ada Ugo-Ngadi, fainted on Friday at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja after being convicted of N754m oil subsidy scam by the court.

Ugo-Ngadi, who had stood in the dock while Justice Lateefa Okunnu was delivering judgment in a N1.9bn subsidy scam trial pressed against her and three others by the Federal Government, slumped as the judge was about to pronounce the sentence.

The prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had pointed out to the judge that the offence carried a seven-year jail term and urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence.

But before the judge could pronounce the sentence, Ugo-Ngadi passed out.

While the lawyers in court and her loved ones rushed for her, Justice Okunnu, noting the state of things, adjourned the case and reserved her pronouncement on the sentence till January 16.

As she regained consciousness, Ugo-Ngali was panting loudly while her lawyers frantically called for a medical personnel and an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

The convict was eventually carried out of the courtroom by her lawyers and loved ones into a waiting black jeep which sped out of the court premises.

Ontario Oil and Gas Limited; its Chairman, Mr. Walter Wagbatsoma; Ngo-Ngali; and an official of the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency, Mr. Babafemi Fakuade, had been arraigned by the EFCC on August 1, 2013.

The EFCC, in the eight counts pressed against them, alleged that they were involved in a N1.9bn fuel subsidy scam.

The charges centred on conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretences, forgery and uttering.

Pronouncing her judge on Friday, Justice Okunnu found Wagbatsoma and Ugo-Ngadi guilty, holding that they defrauded the Federal Government to the tune of N754m in oil subsidy transactions totalling N1.7bn.