The suspects have pleaded not guilty.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Thursday, arraigned 14 suspected oil thieves before E. S. Chukwu, Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal oil bunkering.
The suspects- Joseph Amaechi, Israel Friday, Ubadia Francis, Abayomi Adebisi, Abdullahi Idris, Samuel Job, Onah Peter Ode, Sabo Tasha Hassan, Abdullahi Moh’d, Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ehiogu Paul, Ibrahim Saidu, Garba Mohammed and Bartholomew Onyema – pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.
Soon after the suspects took their plea, counsel to EFCC, Elizabeth Ayodele asked the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused persons in prison custody.
However, counsels to the accused prayed the court to admit the accused persons to bail as the offence is bailable.
However, Mr. Ayodele urged the court to dismiss their application as their offence was an economic sabotage, which is a criminal offence against the state.
Mr. Chukwu adjourned the case to May 14 and 27 for ruling on the bail applications and trial; while the accused persons were remanded in prison.
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