A Lagos Federal High Court, today, dismissed a No-Case-Submission, filed by eight suspected oil thieves, standing trial on alleged conspiracy, unlawful dealing and illegal export of 245.5 metric tonnes of petroleum products.
The alleged oil thieves whose No-Case-Submission was dismissed are: Adeniji Nathaniel; Jagun Michael; Omiyenye Roman; Stephen Imasua; Adeosun Emmanuel Dimeji; Francis Williams;
Saturday Atube; Uduak Monday Umoh and Egbayelo Tunde.
Also affected with the court orders were a vessel and a limited liability company, MV African Support 3 and Sky Marine Fenders Limited.
The alleged oil thieves, the vessel and the company were standing trial before the court presided over by Justice Ayokunle Faji, on the three counts charge made against them by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They trial stated before the court sometimes in 2020.
During their trial, the prosecutor, Mr. Sulaiman I. Sulaiman, called four witnesses and tendered several documentary exhibits which were admitted by the court.
The exhibits tendered includes: Letter from the Nigerian Navy ‘titled notification of arrest’, Letter from the Nigerian Navy handed handing over of MV African Support 3, Letter from DPR titled ‘investigation activities and handover of MV Africa Support 3’, Letter from NIMASA titled ‘investigation activities and hand over of vessel MV Africa Support 3′, and Extrajudicial statement of all the defendants, which were marked as exhibits A to M2.
Upon the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, the defendant opted for filing of of No-Case-Submission instead of opening their defence on the charges against them.
Consequently, the presiding Judge, ordered parties to file their addresses on the No-Case-Submission.
Ruling on the addresses today, Justice Faji, after perusing all the arguments canvassed by both parties, and citing plethoras of authorites, held that: “I found out that there are grounds for proceedings in a the counts charge against all the defendants.
“The defendants are hereby called upon to open their defence on the charges against them.”
For hearing of the charge has been adjourned till November 22 and 23.
The EFCC in a charge numbered FHC/L/136c/2020, alleged that all the defendants on February 13, 2020, conspired among themselves and unlawfully dealt in 245.40 Metric Tonne of petroleum product without appropriate.
The Prosecution also accused the defendants of attempt to export 245.40 Metric Tonnes without appropriate license.
The EFCC stated that the offences committed by the defendants contravened Sections 3(6), 1(17) and 1 (19) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 an punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.