11 fishermen arraigned for alleged pipeline vandalism

The Nigerian Police said it recovered about 220 drums of petrol, valued at N5.3 million, from the fishermen.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed April 17 for the trial of 11 fishermen charged with vandalism of an oil pipeline belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Justice Musa Kurya fixed the date on Friday, after the Nigerian Prisons Service failed to produce the accused persons in court.

A prison warder told the court that he only realised that the case was due for trial when he arrived at the court.

The accused persons are Sidi Egbayelo, 29; Sunday Shadrach, 39; Edem Okon, 30; Godwin Kofa, 28; Rosemon Neito, 30; Ejona Kpamkpam, 23 and; Moses Victor, 28. Others are Chris Sunday, 29; Peter Gay, 21; Remo Uchugwu, 23 and Mike Sabato, 29.

They are in court on a four-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, vandalism and unlawful possession of petroleum products.

The fishermen were initially arraigned on February 7 when they all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Each of them was granted bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in like sum. However, they remained remanded as they were unable to perfect their bail conditions.

The prosecutor, Justin Enang had told the court that the men were apprehended by a police team on December 21at Atlas Cove, Lagos 2012 around1p.m.

According to Mr. Enang, the police recovered about 220 drums of petrol, valued at N5.3 million, from the fishermen. He added that the alleged offence contravened Sections 390 and 516 of the Criminal Code.


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