Three suspected pipeline vandals docked in Ogun

The vandals were granted bail in the sum of N1 million and sureties in like sum.

Three suspected petrol pipeline vandals were on Wednesday arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abeokuta.

The accused, Kareem Rasak, Akeem Babatunde and Owetumotu Godbless were dragged to court by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Ogun State Command.

The suspects are charged for willful damage of petroleum pipeline, conspiracy to tamper with petroleum pipeline and illegal dealings in petroleum products, offences punishable under section 1, sub-section 7[a]&[b] of miscellaneous offences Act CAP M17,Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

According to the NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Kareem Olanrewaju, the suspects were arrested late 2012 around Fowoseje area of Imobi Community of Ogbere, Ijebu East Local Government area of Ogun State during surveillance patrol by NSCDC officials.

At the hearing, lead counsel to the first and second accused persons, A.S Yusuf, as well as counsel to the third accused person, Rotimi Akinola, in their separate written application prayed the court to grant bail to the accused arguing that a suspect is still presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved.

The counsels further argued that the suspects have no previous criminal record as such could be granted bail.

However, the NSCDC counsel, Bukola Akande, while opposing the bail application, urged the court to disregard their prayer because a prima-facie case has been established against the accused persons.

In addition, the lawyer said the court should consider the serious nature of their offence and refuse their bail application, adding that they may fail to surrender themselves for trials.

the trial judge, F.O. Ogunbanjo, granted the bail application.

”It is therefore, my ruling that the accused is entitled to the discretion of this honourable court in granting bail,” the judge said.

Consequently, the accused persons were granted bail in the sum of one million naira each and two sureties in like sum.

The court posited that the sureties shall be reputable persons in the community and one of them shall own a landed property within Ibara G.R.A. in Abeokuta, while the other should be a senior public servant of grade level 7 and above in the service of the Ogun State Government.

The judge added that the document of the landed property should be deposited with the court for verification, and should remain in the court’s possession until determination of the case.

He adjourned the case till March 4 and 6, for further hearing.

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