Oil bunkering: 5 suspects end up in EFCC net, as court jails 3 oil thieves
Justice M. L. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Ibrahim Abbah and Isah Magaji to six months imprisonment for conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.
In the same court, another judge, Justice I. M Sani convicted and sentenced Yeri Ebikake to a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only for dealing in petroleum products without being licensed.
Abba and Magaji were arraigned on Monday, June 24, 2019 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on one-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products, contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act.
The count charge read: “That you Ibrahim Abah and Isah Magaji on or about the 14th of January, 2019 at East West Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did distribute petroleum products without license to Wit: about 20,000 litres conveyed in a Truck with Registration Number BAM 64 XA and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4(1) of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 and punishable under Section 4(6) of the same Act”.
They pleaded ‘”guilty” to the charge when read to them.
In view of their plea of ‘guilty’, Prosecuting Counsel, M. T. Iko urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
Justice Abubakar, convicted and sentenced the defendants to six (6) Months imprisonment with an option of fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) and also ordered that the 20,000 litres of the crude oil conveyed in the Truck with Registration Number BAM 64 XA be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Abbah and Isah’s journeys to prison began when men of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, intercepted them in a truck loaded with illegal petroleum products.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy, through the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, NNS, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 handed over a Wooden Boat and 5 suspects arrested for illegal oil bunkering to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The suspects: Joseph Dickson; Daniel Ofoni; Eric Enock, Allison Pereebiye and George Seidu were arrested by the NNS Pathfinder’s patrol team around Dutch Island Creek, Port Harcourt. The Naval Handing Over Officer, Captain A. T. Ebo said that the suspects were arrested on June 12, 2019 and found on them a Wooden Boat laden with products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO).
Principal Detective Superintendent Olayinka Macaulay who received the suspects and Boat on behalf of the EFCC, assured the NAVY of diligent investigation and possible prosecution of all the suspects.