Court remands two filling station owners for alleged illegal oil dealings
The two suspects, arraigned before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, were identified as, Lookman Onabanjo, 50 and Lukman Eluku, 52, and they are the Chief Executive Officers of Bugon Oil and Gas Limited and Gaffa Oil and Gas Limited respectively.
The two suspect were later remanded shortly after they were separately arraigned, on three counts charges each.
Also arraigned alongside Lookman Onabanjo, were Sani Idris, 34, and Bode Jonah, 39, while one Solomon Afolabi, 30; and Adesimisola Ogunsanya, 36, were arraigned and remanded alongside Lukman Eluku.
In the charge filed against Onabanjo and his co-accused, the prosecutor officer, M.O. Omosun, alleged that the accused were, on August 15, 2015, caught with about 16,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit known as petroleum, loaded in several 50 litres of jerry cans.
Omosun, also stated that the petroleum product which the accused dealt in belonged to Pipeline and Product Marketing Company and they did so contrary to the law and without appropriate licence.
The petroleum product was said to be worth N1.55m.
The prosecutor said Onabanjo and others therefore, violated Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Act, 2007, and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.
Onabanjo and his co-accused, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the case of Eluku, the prosecuting officer, Omosun, accused him and his alleged accomplices of illegally loading 25,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit from a vandalised pipeline into a Mercedes truck with registration number APP 04 QX.
Omosun also informed the court that the accused persons allegedly load the said quantity of PMS, valued at N1.6m, without obtaining lawful permit from the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company, which owned the petroleum product.
They were also alleged to have committed the offence also on August 15, 2015, which is contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Act, 2007.
The three accused persons also pleaded not guilty.
Upon their plea of innocence, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison pending trial.
However, the prosecutor’s remand application was opposed by the counsel for the defendants, Mr. McAnthony Aikharialea, who informed the court that he had filed a bail application for his clients, and urged the court to grant it in liberal terms.