By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The administrators of the Estate of Dan Obuekwe, have called on the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Mr. Bawa Abdulrasheed, to re-open investigations into an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, forgery and tax evasion against Chief Benson Lulu-Briggs and his oil company, Moni Pulo Limited.
The widow of Dan Obuekwe alongside the administrators of the Estate of Dan Obuekwe while calling on the new EFCC boss to ensure transparency and justice in the case also urged the anti-graft agency not to remove Chief Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs from its watch list pending the conclusion of its investigation.
In a petition dated March 1, 2021, the petitioners accused Chief Lulu-Briggs and her company of “fraudulent conversion of company shares,” in which they were shareholders.
According to them, while investigation was still ongoing, the suspect (Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs) still went ahead to make illegal changes in the company, making herself, her daughter before her marriage to Chief Benson Lulu-Briggs and Lulu-Briggs foundation shareholders and directors in the company excluding Mr Obuekwe and his widow who were the initial shareholders of the company.
The complainants chronicled a series of petitions they had lodged against the suspects: Chief Benson Lulu-Briggs, Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs, Dumo Lulu-Briggs and Moni Pulo Limited between 2007 and 2016.
According to Mr. Dan Obuekwe’s solicitors , the crux of his petition was that he was one of the initial subscribers and director of Moni Pulo Limited, where he was allotted 150,000 ordinary shares of the company, which represented 30 per cent of the holding of the company.
He is contending, “That the company and O.B. Lulu-Briggs and his son, Dumo Lulu-Briggs forged the company resolution and reduced his shareholding in the company to 100, 000 shares thus denying him his share of the profit of the company or payment of dividends as rightly entitled by virtue of his shareholding in the company.
Obuekwe further alleged reckless and fraudulent management of the company by the Lulu-Briggs family, particularly; Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs where statutory taxes were not paid to the Federal Government and its agencies. Consequently, the petitioner urged the anti-corruption agency, ” To investigate and prosecute any of the suspects responsible for the forgeries and tax evasion.
“Facilitate the payment of the sum of $850 million USD indebted to him by Moni Pulo Limited.
“To verify the actual bona fide owners of OPL 230 from the Department of Petroleum Resources.
“To investigate and determine the reason(s) why he was criminally shut out in the sharing of profit from 1996 till date.”
They further claimed that the ongoing investigation over the years has been shrouded in controversy with cloak and dagger operatives.
The commission had carried on with the matter under the former acting Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu in a way that gave the impression that it was biased in respect of the beneficial owners of OPL 230 and the complainant in the case.
It will be recalled that the matter had passed from one department in the commission to another; not having any bearing on the technical expertise required to do a thorough investigation just to do the bidding of the suspects who have shown without a scintilla of doubt that they can pay for justice to be perverted.
Hitherto, one of the suspects, Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs was placed on the EFCC’s Watch List, but she is reportedly making frantic efforts to clear the hurdle by all means including but not limited to the use of “subterfuge, bribery and compromise.
“We are calling on the new Chairman of the EFFC, Mr. Bawa Abdulrasheed, to use his wealth in financial fraud investigation to look into the case to ensure that justice is done to all parties concerned.”