Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday morning picked up the President of Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Uche Ogah, on the premises of a Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Tinubu, Lagos Island.
Ogah was arrested as soon as he stepped out of the courtroom after the forgery charges filed against him by the Police were withdrawn. Ogah, who was declared winner of the last governorship election in Abia State by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on June 27 was, on June 16, arraigned by the Police for alleged forgery. But the police on Monday morning withdrew the charges.
When the case was called, the Police prosecutor, Henry Obiazi, told the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Kikelomo Ayeye, that he had the instruction of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw the charges against Ogah and his co-defendants. “I am instructed by the IGP to withdraw this case, as the issue is pending with the SFU,” Obiazi said. The charges were consequently struck out by the court. But as soon as Ogah stepped out of the court room, he was arrested by the waiting EFCC operatives who drove him away in their van. A source at the EFCC said the commission had received a petition from the complainant in the case against Ogah. The source said Ogah was being interrogated, adding that others would also be invited. The other defendants in the charge which the Police withdrew against Ogah were his company, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited; and an ex-employee of United Bank for Africa, Deji Somoye. The defendants were accused of conspiring with some persons still at large to forge a Memorandum of Understanding between Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited and Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited sometime in March 2011. Ogah and some other persons still at large were alleged to have forged the signature of one Mrs. Bridget Adeosun.
The charges read, “That you, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Uche Ogah, and others at large sometime in March 2011 at Ikeja, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to wit: forgery. “That you, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Uche Ogah, and others at large, on the same date, time, place and in the aforementioned magisterial district, did forge the signature of one Mrs. Bridget Adeosun and a document known as MoU between Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited and Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, with an intent that it may be in any way used or acted upon as genuine. “That you, Deji Somoye, United Bank for Africa and others still at large, sometime in August 2011, at UBA regional office, Palmgrove, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did knowing that Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited designed to commit an offence, failed to use all reasonable means to prevent the commission or the completion of the crime.” The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty; after which they were admitted to bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with one surety each in like sum.