The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned five suspected oil thieves, Sokari Iminabo; Segun Olagunju; Uche Emmaneul, Obinna Ezinne and Tiny Patience before Justice I. Watilla of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on a two-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
According to the spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed the story, the suspects were arrested on 26 April, 2016, at Anyako Waterside in Sama Community, Asari Toru Local Government, Rivers State by troops of the 130 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.
At the point of arrest, the suspects were in possession of a locally constructed metal tank, housed in a Man Diesel truck with registration number SOKOTO XA 614 BDN to convey illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO) concealed in poultry feeds.
They pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Count one of the charges read: “that SokariIminabo, SegunOlagunju, UcheEmmaneul, ObinnaEzinne, Tiny Patience and Adebowale John (now at large) on or about the 26th April, 2016 at Anyako waterside in Sama Community of Asari Toru Local Government, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; dealing in petroleum product without appropriate authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) act 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act”
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, J.N. Dogonyaro asked for a trial date. However, the defence counsels: C.I.Akpudi, M.O.Nkwocha, Greg Okenili, H.N,Emiremi moved different applications for the bail of the suspects.
Justice Watilla admitted them to bail on the following conditions: 1st defendant was granted bail in the sum of N2 million and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
The 2nd, 3rd and 5th defendants were also granted bail in the sum of N2 million each and two sureties each in like sum; each surety must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and one of the sureties must be a civil servant on grade level 10 and above.