Wednesday, 26 November 2014

EFCC Arraigns 15 Suspected Oil Thieves



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday November 26, 2014 arraigned fifteen suspected oil thieves before Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Warri, Delta State, for alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products.

According to a press release by the EFCC, the accused persons are Henry Obioso, Messel Oruan, Obaila Zion, Precious Billy, Bassey Samuel, Anthony Archibong, Captain Olufemi Osagay, Erefoluwa Benjamin, Frank Eke, Emeka Jeremiah, Lucky Okpor, Effiong Aniekan, Karo Awosino, Omowumi Omonuwa, Ogonnoh Abiodu and Snow White Energy Limited.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

The accused persons were arrested between the months of September and October, 2014 by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to the Commission for further investigation and possible prosecution.
One of the counts reads, “that you Henry Obioso, Messel Oruan, Obaila Zion, Precious Billy, Bassey Samuel, Anthony Archibong, Snow White Energy Limited and others (now at large) on or about the 18th day of September 2014 at Escravos, off Dodo River, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honorable court without appropriate license deal with petroleum product to wit: about 639 metric tons of crude oil conveyed in MT MAGA and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(17) (a) and (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under the same Act”.

Another count reads, “that you Captain Olufemi Osagay, Erefoluwa Benjamin, Frank Eke, Emeka Jeremiah, Lucky Okpor, Effiong Aniekan, Karo Awosino, Omowumi Omonuwa and Ogonnoh Abiodun on or about the 12th day of October 2014, at Chevron platform, Benin River, Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court without lawful authority deal with crude oil in vessel MT JOCHEBED with IMO No. 7388578 and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (17) (a) and punishable under section 1 (17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007”.

In view of their plea, the judge ordered that Olufemi Osagay, Erefoluwa Benjamin, Frank Eke, Emeka Jeremiah, Lucky Okpor, Effiong Aniekan, Karo Awosino, Omowumi Omonuwa and Ogonnoh Abiodun be remanded in prison until they perfect their bail terms. They were each admitted to bail in the sum of two million naira each and two sureties in like sum who must reside within the jurisdiction of court. The others were remanded in prison custody.

The matter was adjourned to 11 and18 February, 2015 for trial.

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