The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), has arraigned four suspects, Felix Nwosu, Sadau Isa, Aliyu Hamza Hassan and Usman Nuhu on a four-count charge of conspiracy, illegal dealing and refining of petroleum products, before a Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State .
The suspects were alleged to be illegal operators of refineries which have a capacity of thirty three thousand litres located at Ohaobu-Ndoki village in Ukanagu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.
When the charges were read to the suspects, they pleaded not guilty to the charge necessitating the defense lawyer, B.B. Mfon, to apply for their bail. But Justice E. S. Chukwu turned down the bail application on the grounds that he intended to conclude the case as quickly as possible.
He therefore adjourned the matter till April 27, 2012 for continuation of trial, and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
It would be recalled that officers of the State Security Service, SSS, arrested the accused persons on March 2, 2012, at Ukanagu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, along with three others: Sunday Udedike, Yusuf Lawal and Abdullahi Haruna, who are presently at large.
At the time of their arrest, a 33,000 litres capacity Iveco Turbo Star Truck loaded with automotive gas oil, 33,000 litres capacity DAF 85CA Truck loaded with crude oil, two pumping machines, two barges, three speed boat engines and the Illegal refinery of an estimated 33,000 litres capacity and operational installations which had been operational for the last twelve months.
The illegal refinery is located close to a waterway through which illicit crude oil from barges could be easily siphoned into storage tanks for refining.