3 Oil Thieves Bags 3 Years Imprisonment
A Lagos Federal High Court, today, convicted and sentenced three men to a year imprisonment each, for stealing 120 metric tonnes of Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO), also known as diesel.
The three men are: Ometoruwa David; Morford Meiku and John Inneh.
Their sentence and convention was sequel to a plea bargain agreement signed with the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The three convicts were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, on the three counts offence of conspiracy, illegal dealing in 120 metric tonnes of petroleum products and unlawful storage of same product
The offences which are contrary to sections contrary to Section 3(6), 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act. And section 4 of the Petroleum Act. Cap. P. 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014.
The convicts had pleaded guilty to the offences, but opted for plea bargain agreement with the EFCC.
Prior to the hearing of the plea bargain agreement, today, the prosecutor, Mr. Idris Mohammed, while reviewing the facts of the case, told the court that the convicts were arrested in a vessel called MV Lady Sharon by the personnel of Nigerian Navy on board NNS OSE, on January 9, 2020, on the Nigeria water territory
He told the court that the said vessel, MV Lady Sharon, which the convicts boarded was loaded with 120 metric tonnes of diesel. He added that upon enquiry from Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), shows that the said vessel was a Nigeria registered vessel, formerly belonging to SWAT LINK Limited, but now being owned by JEFI Aviation Limited.
Idris further told the court that the vessel was licensed in 2013 by the Department of Petroleum Resources, but failed to renewed the the license as 2018 till date.
After the reviewing the facts of the case, both the prosecutor and convicts’ counsel, Mr. Peter Ataibo, urged the court to accept the terms stated in the plea bargain agreement, as the court judgement.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor pronounced the terms of agreement as the judgment of the court.
The plea bargain agreement reads: “that upon their conviction, a term at One year imprisonment each is proposed and recommended to this Honourable Court to be imposed on the first, second and third defendants in respect of Count one, two and three.
“That the term of imprisonment shall run concurrently from the January, 2020 being the day of his arrest and detention by the Nigerian Navy.
“That the first, second and third defendants shall upon their release from the Prison Custody enter Into a bond with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to be of good behaviour and never to be Involved in any economic and financial crimes, illegitimate or criminal act within and outside the shores of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.