Court Jails Two Oil Thieves in Port Harcourt

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Justice E.A. Obile of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Isiyaku Mohammed and Sunday Oriaeji to one year and two years imprisonment, respectively for oil theft.

The thieves were prosecuted by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on separate one-count charge of illegal dealing in petroleum products, to which they pleaded guilty.

The charge against Mohammed read, “That you Isiyaka Muhammed on or about the 28th day of July, 2019 at Ahoada West Local Government Area,  within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without appropriate licence dealt in petroleum product to wit: 20 jerry cans  of adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), being conveyed in an Iveco Truck, with registration number: FST 523 XR and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1(17)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act 2007 and Punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.”

The charge against Oriaeji read, “That you Sunday Oriaeji (‘M’) on or about the 16th day of May, 2018 at Choba Area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of  this honourable court, without appropriate licence, dealt in petroleum product to wit: Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) conveyed in a truck with registration number: XC 977 YEN, thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act 2007 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.” 


Following their guilty plea, prosecuting counsel,   M.T Iko,  prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly, while defence counsels,  M.M. Suleiman and D. I. Loho prayed the court for leniency, saying the defendants have become remorseful. 


Apart from his one year prison term, for which he was given N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) option of fine, Mohammed lost his 20 jerry cans of adulterated AGO to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The product is to be auctioned to the public in conjunction with the court’s deputy chief registrar, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other stakeholders, while the proceeds would be paid into the Single Treasury Account (TSA) of the federal government. 

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Oriaeji, who was given N250,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) option of fine for his two years prison term, forfeited the 33,000 liters of AGO, conveyed by the truck to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The product will also be auctioned to the public in conjunction with the court’s deputy chief registrar, the DPR and other stakeholders. And the proceeds paid into the Single Treasury Account (TSA) of the federal government.The convicts were arrested by the Anti-bunkering Team of the 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State with the trucks conveying the adulterated petroleum product and handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.

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