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11 crew members convicted over unlawful dealing in petroleum product

11 crew members convicted over unlawful dealing in petroleum product
Breaking News Crime West Africa

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, convicted a vessel, MV Peace alongside its 11 crew, for conspiracy and unlawful dealing in 200 metric tons of petroleum product. Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris after pronouncing the vessel and its crew guilty of the three counts charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, sentenced each of the vessel’s crew to a total of 12 years imprisonment, while ordering that the vessel, MV Peace and the stolen petroleum product be forfeited to the Federal Government. The convicts are: Captain James Abatan, Wasiu Owonikoko, Patrick Ameh, Johnson Ademola, Felix Otto, Chigozie Oguike, Olu Salisu, Jomo Gadagbe, Kunle Oba Saheed and Rasheed Adio. EFCC had arraigned the crew members on board a vessel, MV Peace over alleged involvement in oil bunkering to the tune of 200 metric tons of petroleum product. All the convicts were sentenced to five years in count one and two, and two years in count three. The judge however, ordered that the jail terms are to run concurrently. The vessel and the convicts were first arraigned on July 27, 2017, on the three counts charge of unlawful dealing in 200 tonnes of petroleum product and storing same. The offences according to the prosecution led by Rotimi Oyedepo are contrary to and punishable under Section 3 (1) (6) (17); (1) (1) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, and Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Sentencing the convicts, Justice Idris said: “ I have listened to the plea of allucutor, there is no doubt that they (convicts) are first time offenders. It should be noted that this crime is rampant and it almost cripple the economy survival of the country. “In this view, I hereby sentence the convicts to five years on count one of conspiracy, five years on count two of dealing in petroleum product without appropriate licence, and two years on count three. “The jail terms are to run concurrently.” During the convicts’ trial, EFCC had told the court that the convict had on or about April 4, 2015 conspired amongst themselves to commit the crime by dealing in petroleum product without appropriate licence.

Source: The Vanguard https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/11-crew-members-convicted-over-unlawful-dealing-in-petroleum-product/

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