Woman, Two Other Illegal Oil Dealers Get Jail Sentences

A woman, identified as Gloria Monday, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Port Harcourt Federal High Court, Rivers State for dealing in petroleum products without a licence.

Gloria was handed the jail terms after appearing before Justice I.M Sani on Thursday by the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and pleaded “guilty” to one count charge preferred against her.

It was learnt that the offence is contrary to Section 4(1) of the Petroleum Act CAP P10 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 4(6) of the same Act.

In view of the plea, prosecution counsel, D.N.Nkwap called a witness to review the facts of the case before the Court.

The witness, Kayode Adesanoye, an Operative with the EFCC, told the court that the defendant and a vehicle (loaded with 200 litres of petroleum product stored in polythene bags) was handed over to the Commission on January 31, 2020 by 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt .

Adesanoye said samples of the product was taken to Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR for analysis and the result indicated that it was an adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), adding that the defendant in her statement said that she bought the product from Ogu Market in River State and was arrested along Port Harcourt-Eket way.

Prosecution counsel tendered some documents which were admitted in evidence as Exhibit a,b,c,d,e,f,g (1) (2) by the court and prayed that the court convict the defendant.

Justice Sani found the defendant guilty, convicted and sentenced her to six (6) months imprisonment with an option of fine and ordered that the product be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In another development, Justice L. N. Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has convicted and sentenced two oil thieves to three years imprisonment.

The convicts, Paul Ovie and Frank Okuba, were arraigned alongside a vessel, M.V. Agbeke, by the Lagos Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) on Thursday on three-count charges bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.

They were arrested by the Nigerian Navy and subsequently handed over to the Commission for investigation and prosecution.

One of the counts read “That you, Paul Ovie, Frank Okuba and M.V. Agbeke, on the 21st day of January, 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without appropriate license, dealt in 100 metric tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

They pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against them.

In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Mohammed Idris, reviewed the facts of the matter and urged the court to convict the defendants accordingly.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oweibo convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment each on the three-count charges.

The sentences are to run concurrently from the day of their arrest and detention by the Nigerian Navy.

Post Author: Friday Ekeoba