Nine Suspected Oil Thieves Arraigned In Lagos

The Lagos Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today, June 28, 2021, arraigned nine suspected oil thieves alongside a vessel, MT Chiebube, before Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in 300 Metric Tonnes of petroleum product.

The defendants: Anthony Ekpobassey Iso, Chinemeze Samuel Mark, Edikan Frank Jeremiah, Endurance Ossai Destiny, Ibrahim Ahmed, Emmanuel Monday, Nwachukwu Chinedu, Kenneth Philip, and Matthew Timothy, were arrested on board a Vessel, MT Chiebube, by officers of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Beecroft and subsequently handed over to the Commission on June 25, 2021, for further investigation.

Upon their arraignment today, the defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the offence.

One of the counts reads: “That you, MT Chiebube, Anthony Ekpobassey Iso, Chinemeze Samuel Mark, Zannou Dominique (now at large), Kokomo Raimain (now at large), Edikan Frank Jeremiah, Endurance Ossai Destiny, Ibrahim Ahmed, Emmanuel Monday, Nwachukwu Chinedu, Kenneth Philip, Matthew Timothy, Commy Mkpedit (now at large), Joseph Maro (now at large) and Dr. Philip Mark (now at large) on or about 19th December 2020, at sea within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to deal in petroleum product without lawful authority and appropriate license and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004 and punishable under the same law.”

Another count reads: “ That you, MT Chiebube, Anthony Ekpobassey Iso, Chinemeze Samuel Mark, Zannou Dominique (now at large), Kokomo Raimain (now at large), Edikan Frank Jeremiah, Endurance Ossai Destiny, Ibrahim Ahmed, Emmanuel Monday, Nwachukwu Chinedu, Kenneth Philip, Matthew Timothy, Commy Mkpedit (now at large), Joseph Maro (now at large) and Dr. Philip Mark (now at large) on or about 19th December 2020, at sea within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in 300 Metric Tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil without lawful authority and appropriate license and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004 and punishable under the same law.”

In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Ebuka Okongwu, prayed the court for a trial date and also asked that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

The defence counsel however informed the court of a pending bail application for the defendants and asked for a hearing date.

Justice Osiagor adjourned the matter till July 14, 2021, for commencement of trial and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

EFCC

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