The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Thursday, re-arraigned eight suspected oil thieves before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Lagos.
Adedamola Ogungbayibi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Padoun Kayode Jacob, Okparaodi Omaka Uche and Onyeogo Happy were re-arraigned on a five count of conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum product.
The suspects were initially arraigned before Justice Saliu Seidu, last June, and were granted bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum – one of whom must be a grade level 15 civil servant.
According to the EFCC, the defendants got into trouble on February 19, 2014, when they were arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy who were on routine patrol.
“The Nigeria Navy Ship ANDONI intercepted MT Good Success and its sixteen member crew, along the Lagos waters,” the commission said.
“At the time of arrest, it was discovered that while MT Good Success had authority to carry 350 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), it was loaded with 1,459 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). Officers of the Nigeria Navy then handed over the vessel, its contents and crew members to the EFCC for further investigations.”
Count one of the charge reads:
“That you MT GOOD SUCCESS, Hepa Global Energy Limited, Adedamola Ogungbayibi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Padonu Kayode Jacob, Okparaodi Omaka Uche and Onyeogo Happy on or about the 19th day of February, 2014 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) without lawful authority or appropriate license and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19(6) and punishable under Section 17 of the Miscellaneous offences Act, Cap M17, Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.
The defendants pleased not guilty to all the five counts and were admitted to bail on the terms earlier granted them by Justice Seidu.
Justice Abang adjourned the case to August 29, 2014, for continuation of trial.