The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a vessel, MV Ella and four oil marketers before the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing petroleum products.
The four marketers: Robert Agbenyo, Fulani Macaulay, Nwafor Joshua and William Kelvin and the vessel were docked before Justice Muslim Hassan by the EFCC on a four-count charge.
The anti-graft agency accused them of conspiracy, illegal dealing on 100 metric tonnes of petroleum product without license and dealing in inferior product.
Counsel to the EFCC, Usman Buhari, informed the court that the defendants committed the offence on December 27, 2019.
He also maintained that the offence is contrary to sections 3(6) ,1(17), 1(18) and 1 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Sections 1(17) and 1(18) of the same Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
After listening to arguments against the defendants’ bail application, Justice Hassan admitted each of them to bail in the sum of N2 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge directed that one of the sureties must be a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction and that the land title documents and other conditions must be verified by the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).
Justice Hassan, however, released the defendants to their counsel, after they undertook to produce them in court at the next sitting.
The judge attributed his decision to the Coronavirus pandemic.
He then adjourned the matter to May 20 for commencement of trial.