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12 oil dealers get six-year imprisonment for illicit deal in Lagos


A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A Federal High Court, Lagos, has convicted and jailed 12 men for six years for dealing in 600,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, without lawful authority.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the convicts – Christopher Okorie, John Mbah, Tammy Bami, Osi Prince, Chukwuji Festus, Kabiru Adeyemo, Ayannubi Moses, Sopuruchukwu Chukwudi, Obinna Ebu, Abdullahi Oyelade, Charles Ubey and Achia Vincent – on four counts in October 2015.
They were charged alongside their vessel, MV PSV DEBY, and two companies – Phonic Marine Services Limited and Banquet Chambers Nigeria Limited.The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, in his judgment yesterday, convicted them of the entire four counts of conspiracy, dealing in diesel without lawful authority and forgery.
On the first and second counts, he sentenced each of the 12 convicts to a prison term of five years, while on counts three and four, the convicts were each sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
The judge, however, said the sentences would run concurrently.The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Ekene Iheanacho, had told the court that the convicts committed the offences between December 2014 and September 2015 in Lagos.
Iheanacho called six witnesses, including officials of the DPR, Navy and the EFCC, to prove his case.Justice Idris, who said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts, ordered the vessel, MV PSV DEBY and the cargo on board forfeited to the Federal Government.

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