EFCC Operatives Whisk Off the Oil Theft Suspects to Court Photo; Kapita FM

EFCC prosecutes 26 suspects for illegal oil deal

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For purportedly stealing the Nigerian oil wealth and common patrimony, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned 26 illegal oil deal suspects and three vessels before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Channels TV reports that the first charge involves six suspects, and a vessel namely MT Jonko.

The suspects include Umoh Clement, Moses Ogbodu, Ignatius Okereke, Valentine Amaegberi, Victor Egbowon, and Emmanuel Bassey.

Others are Ademola Olasode, Sule Anyebe, Oyelami Oloyede, Otuagoma Emmanuel, and Anthony Orhieoghenebruru.

They apparently conspired on December 21, 2019, to deal in 450 metric tonnes of petroleum products without the appropriate licence to do same.

The EFCC said the offence was 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.

The suspects, at the arraignment Wednesday, March 4, pleaded not guilty while Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, asked the court for a trial date.

He also urged the court to remand the defendants in the Nigerian Correctional Services (NSC).

Justice Aikawa granted the requests and adjourned the case until March 17 for the commencement of trial and hearing of the bail application.

Similarly, the anti-graft agency arraigned another set of 15 suspects and two vessels before Justice Aikawa for dealing in petroleum products without the appropriate licence.

The suspects include MV Ekpere Amaka (vessel), Eliaja Agoso, Assayomo Julius, Godwin Ajimosun, Jerome Nwaobi, Ukpe Wisdom, Bayonle-Jude Olawunmi, Vincent Antai, and John Zola.

Others are MT Zeebrugge (vessel), Kapilarathana A.J, Yapa, Ramanayaka Maithripala, Labunu Silva, Shashika Palipana, Amarasinge Chaml, Kariyawasan Wijewardbana, and Joseph Fernando.

The EFCC said the suspects allegedly conspired to illegally deal in 85 metric tonnes of petroleum products without the appropriate licence, an offence for which they also pleaded “not guilty”.

The Justice also ordered the remand of the suspects and adjourned the case until March 16 for the commencement of trial and hearing of the bail applications.

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