EFCC arraigns 26 for illegal oil deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, arraigned 26 suspected illegal oil dealers and three vessels before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

The first charge involves six suspects and a vessel namely MT Jonko(vessel), Umoh Clement, Moses Ogbodu, Ignatius Okereke, Valentine Amaegberi, Victor Egbowon and Emmanuel Bassey.

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

One of the charges 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 tons of petroleum products without appropriate licence; and you, thereby, committed 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.”

They pleaded “not guilty” when the charge was read to them. In view of their pleas, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendants in the Nigerian Correctional Services, NSC.

Counsel for the defendants, Kenae Ubi, informed the court that applications for bail had been filed and served on the prosecution.

Ubi, therefore, prayed the court for a short date to move the bail applications.
Justice Aikawa adjourned the case untill March 17, 2020 for commencement of trial and hearing of bail application.

The Judge also ordered the defendants to be remanded in the NSC.

The EFCC also arraigned another set of 15 suspects and two vessels before Justice Aikawa for dealing in petroleum products without appropriate licence.

The suspects are: 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 Appuhamilage Maithripala, Labunu Hewage Udayanga Silva, Shashika Yomal Palipana, Amarasinge Arachchige Dasman Chaml, Kariyawasan Wijewardbana and Joseph Felsianus Fernando.

They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them.

One of the counts reads: “That you, MV Ekpere Amaka, Eliaja Agoso, Assayomo Julius, Godwin Ajimosun, Jerome Nwaobi, Ukpe Wisdom, Bayonle-Jude Olawunmi, Vincent Antai and John Zola, on the 25th of December, 2019, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 85 metric tons of petroleum products without appropriate licence; and you, thereby, committed 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.”

Another count reads: “That you, MT Zeebrugge, Kapilarathana A.J. Yapa, Ramanayaka Appuhamilage Maithripala, Labunu Hewage Udayanga Silva, Shashika Yomal Palipana, Amarasinge Arachchige Dasman Chaml, Kariyawasan Wijewardbana and Joseph Felsianus Fernando on the 12th of December, 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 838.5 metric tons of petroleum products without appropriate licence; and you, thereby, committed 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.”

In view of their pleas, Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendants be remanded in the correctional facility pending the outcome of the case.

Defence counsel, Paul Ediga, told the court that applications for bail had been filed and served on the prosecution.

Ediga, therefore, prayed the court for a short date to move the bail applications.

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case untill March 16, 2020 for commencement of trial and hearing of the bail applications.

The Judge also ordered the defendants to be remanded in the correctional facility pending the determination of their bail applications.

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