By Gowon Emakpe, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, yesterday secured the conviction of eleven oil thieves alongside their Vessel, MT Jonko , before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The convicts are Umoh Akaninyene Clement, Moses Ogbodu, Ignatius Okereke, Valentine Amaegberi, Victor Egbowon, Emmanuel Bassey, Ademola Olasode, Sule Godwin Anyebe, Oyelami Akeem Oloyede, Otuagoma Emmanuel and Anthony Orhieoghenebruru.
Justice Aikawa found them guilty on all three counts and sentenced each one to one year Imprisonment on each count.The sentence is to take effect from their day of arrest. The judge also ordered the forfeiture of a vessel, MT Jonko, laden with 450 Metric tons of Crude Oil to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Judge also imposed a fine of Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600, 000. 00) on each of the convicts.
Tony Orilade, Head Media and Publi ity to the Cimmussjon said the convicts were first arraigned on three counts of illegal oil dealing on March 4, 2020 and they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
However, at today’s sitting, the defence counsel, O.J Aruwayo informed the court that his clients will like to change their plea.
The charge was read to them and they all pleaded guilty.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Bilkisu Buhari called a witness to review the facts of the case before the court.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Moses Awolusi, an operative with the EFCC, told the court that on the 24th of December 2019, the commission received a letter of notification from the Nigerian Navy, NNS Beecroft notifying them of the arrest of eleven oil thieves and a vessel, MT Jonko. He said that they were arrested on December 12, 2019 with 450 metric tons of crude oil on board the vessel.
Moses also narrated to the court that on the 3rd of January, 2020, his team proceeded to the vessel with officials of Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR and some naval personnel to take samples of the products on the vessel in the presence of the convicts and same was forwarded to the laboratory for analysis.
He then told the court that letters of investigation activities were sent to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA to ascertain if the vessel had a license to deal in petroleum products and if they had a permit to sail on Nigerian Waters and responses were received.
Awolusi revealed that the responses showed that the convicts did not have a license to deal in petroleum products.
One of count reads: “That you MT Jonko, Umoh Akaninyene Clement, Moses Ogbodu, Ignatius Okereke, Valentine Amaegberi, Victor Egbowon, Emmanuel Bassey, Ademola Olasode, Sule Godwin Anyebe, Oyelami Akeem Oloyede, Otuagoma Emmanuel and Anthony Orhieoghenebruru on the 21st of December, 2019 within the jurisdiction of his Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 450 Metric Tonnes of petroleum product without appropriate license and you thereby commited an offence
contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.”
Salesman in Court for Allegedly Diverting N340, 400 Proceeds of Sales
A 30-year-old salesman, Thomas Daniel, on Tuesday appeared before a Kaduna Magistrates’ Court for allegedly diverting N340, 400 proceeds from sales of 74 bags of cement to his own personal use.
The defendant, who lives at Maraba Rido Kaduna, is facing a charge of stealing.
The prosecutor, Insp.
He said the defendant who was the salesman for the complainant, Godwin Moses, sold 74 bags of cement and refused to remit the proceeds to his employer.
He said that the defendant converted the money to personal use.
Leo said the offences contravened Section 217 of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, 2017.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Magistrate, Ibrahim Emmanuel, granted him bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Emmanuel said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction, and adjourned the case until Dec. 20, for hearing.(NAN)
Niger Assembly: Appeal Court Sacks Suleiman Wanchiko, Declares Bako Kasim Winner
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked Suleiman Wanchiko of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of Bida I (North) State Constituency election in Niger and declared Bako Kasim of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the poll.
The three-member panel, while delivering the judgment through Justice Bature Isa-Gafai, held Wanchiko’s appeal was unmeritorious.
The appellate court agreed with Kasim’s counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, that Wanchiko, having presented a forged testimonial to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ought to be disqualified from contesting the election.
Reports says that INEC had declared Wanchiko the winner of the Bida I (North) Constituency poll for the Niger State House of Assembly election conducted on March 18.
The electoral umpire had declared Wanchiko as the winner with 12, 062 votes as against 11, 820 votes scored by Kasim.
Dissatisfied with the INEC’s declaration, Kasim and APC, through their Counsel, Mr Usman, approached the state’s election petition tribunal via petition number: EPT/NG/SHA/11/2023 between Bako Kasim and another Vs. Suleiman Muhammad Wanchiko and another.
Kasim filed the petition on the grounds that Wanchiko was not qualified to contest in the election in that he submitted forged testimonial to INEC and that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
At the end of trial, the tribunal found merit in the petitioners’ arguments and disqualified Wanchiko and ordered a re-run without him.
Not satisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, Wanchiko, through his counsel, Aliyu Lemu, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal, praying the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal.
But Kasim’s lawyer urged the court to dismiss the appeal and return his client as the winner of the election.
The appellate court upheld Usman’s argument that Wanchiko, having been disqualified, the proper order was to return Kasim as the winner of the poll and directed INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return.(NAN)
Man, 35, Arraigned for Alleged Theft of N4m Motor Spare Parts
A 35-year-old man, Yusuf Jimoh, who allegedly stole spare parts worth N4 million from two different trucks, on Monday appeared at an Ejigbo Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
The defendant is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on stealing.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the police.
The Prosecutor, ASP Benedict Aigbokhan, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Nov.19, at 4.30.a.m., at Okofilling bus stop, at Igando area of Lagos.
Aigbokhan said the defendant stole one kick starter with electric wires worth N2 million naira from one Man Diesel truck with registration number AGL 844 XL.
He said the Man Diesel truck belonged to one Mr Gbadamos Fuad.
According to him, the defendant also stole one kick starter and some litres of diesel worth N2 million from another truck, a DAF truck, belonging to one Dorosas Global Services Ltd.
He said the offences contravened Sections 287 and 287(8) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Magistrate, Miss K.A. Ariyo, granted him bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.
Ariyo ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She adjourned the case until Dec. 11 for mention. (NAN)
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