EFCC Arraigns Suspected Oil Thieves In Court On A Two-Count Charge

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, , on May 4, 2015 arraigned two suspected : Taiwo Seyi and Friday Akpan their company, Ibiberebupakabo Company Limited and vessel,  MT Divine Favour, in court.

They were arraigned before Justice U.N Agumoh of the Port Harcourt, on a 2-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum product.

In a press statement released on Monday, Wilson Uwujaren, the head media and publicity of the EFCC, disclosed that the accused persons were allegedly arrested in the Bonny waters, River State, sometime in 2014 with 500,000 litres of stolen petroleum product suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge.

One of the counts read, “That you Taiwo Seyi Daniel being captain of MT Divine Favour, Friday Akpan being crew member of MT Divine Favour and Ibiberebupakabo Company Limited being owners of MT Divine Favour on or about the 10th day of February, 2014 around Bonny area in Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did without authority deal in 500,000 litres of petroleum product suspected to be AGO (Automotive Gas Oil) bunkered from Barges named MV BUSH BUCK, C-ENDEAVOUR, J CHOUEST 1, MV GASKO and MV AMANDA to MT DIVINE FAVOUR and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act”.

The accused persons were part of the eight suspects arrested on February 10, 2014 by officers of the Nigerian Navy (FOS and NNS Pathfinder) while on routine patrol around Bonny water in Rivers State. The vessel and its crew were arrested without appropriate document to sail on the territorial waters of Nigeria and handed over to the Commission for further investigation and possible prosecution.

In view of their plea, the prosecuting counsel, Sadiq Hussain prayed the court to fix a date for trial to commence. The defence counsel, R. E Wanogho, however, urged the court to grand the accused persons bail.

Justice Agomoh granted the accused bail in the sum of N1, 000,000.00 (One million ) each and 4 (Four) sureties in like sum. The sureties must be public or civil servant of Grade Level 9 or above.

The matter was adjourned to June 9, 2015 for trial.

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