Court Convicts, Fines Two Oil Thieves In Port Harcourt

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Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced two persons, Nura Hassan and Uchenna Iwuoha to a fine of N100,000 each.

The convicts were arraigned on Friday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on one- count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products without appropriate licenses.

A statement from the EFCC said the offence was contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2007 and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act.

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The charge read, “That you Nura Hassan, being the driver on board a DAF Truck with registration number ZUR 219 YL on or about the 22nd day of November, 2017 at Abonema within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did deal in petroleum products to wit: loading illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and thereby committed an offence contrary to  Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2007, and punishable under Section 4(6) of the same Act”.

The convicts pleaded “guilty” to the charge when read to them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecuting counsels, F.O. Amama and S. Chime prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

The defense counsels, O.N. Ofordile and P.C. Dike did not oppose the prosecution counsel’s prayers.

Justice Mohammed, thereafter, convicted and sentenced Hassan and Iwuoha to a fine of 100,000 each and ordered that that the content of the trucks they were arrested with should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The convicts were intercepted by troops of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt in 2018 and 2019 at different locations.

They were said to be loading and distributing AGO using different trucks without appropriate licences.

The duo were later handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.

Court Jails Nine Oil Thieves In Port Harcourt

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

 

Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced nine people.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) reveal this in a statement on Thursday.

According to it, those convicted were arraigned on Wednesday before the judge who sentenced them to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N100, 000 each for illegal dealing in petroleum products.

Those convicted are Ndubisi Ebezim, Eze Igwe Charlse, Kingsley Nwosu, Chukwuman Odum, Sunday Josiah, Mohammed Yahaya, Najib Abubaka, Abubaka Idi, and Babagida Jiddah.

They were arraigned on a one-count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products contrary to Section 4 (1) of the petroleum Act, CAP P10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under Section 4(6) the same Act.

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The charge read: “That you Babagida Jiddah, being the driver on board a truck with registration number BER 844 XR, on or about the 4th May, 2019 at Igbo Etete in Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court deal in petroleum product to wit loading and transporting illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), without appropriate licence or authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to  Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under Section 4(6) the same Act”.

They all pleaded “guilty” when the charges were read to them.

“In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsels:  S. Chime; F.O. Amama; A. Osu and A.N Dodo, prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

“Defence counsels, O.N.Ofordile; C.O. Okpute, W.A. Ugwu, did not oppose the prayers of the prosecution,” the statement said.

Justice Mohammed, thereafter, convicted and sentenced the defendants to two years imprisonment with an option of fine.

He also ordered that the petroleum products they were caught with be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The convicts’ journey to prison started when they were intercepted by Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt in 2017, 2018 and 2019 at different locations in the Rivers State capital.

They were said to be loading and distributing AGO using different trucks without appropriate licenses.

Oil Theft: Navy Hands Over Eight Suspects, Boat To EFCC

 

The Nigerian Navy, NNS Victory Calabar on May 7, 2019 handed over eight persons suspected to be involved in illegal conveyance of oil, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Uyo Zonal Office, including 105 drums of Premium Motor Spirit, and the wooden boat used for the illegal activity.

The suspects arrested onboard the boat are: Godwin Eden (Nigerian), Justice Ebanga (Nigerian), Effiong Gilbert (Nigerian), Manasseh Obani (Nigerian), Ambe Festus (Cameroonian), Alpha Emmanuel (Cameroonian), Sakwe Felix (Cameroonian) and Vasco Mekora (Cameroonian).

According to Commander M.D. Fefa who handed over the suspects to the EFCC, the arrest was made on April 28, 2019, by a patrol team from his Command.
“My men intercepted the wooden boat ladened with drums of Premium Motor Spirit PMS, concealed under plastic drums of palm oil, at Oron Bar along the Calabar waterways, while they were transiting to Cameroon,” he said.

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While receiving the suspects, Victor Ikang, Head, Extractive Industry Fraud Section, EIFS of the EFCC Uyo office, gave the assurance that the Commission remained poised to rid the nation of illegal dealing in petroleum products which has so far affected the Nigerian economy negatively.

“The EFCC is determined to enforce its mandate, while collaborating with other security agencies like the Navy in ensuring that the Nations waterways are safe and secured,” he said, stressing that the culprits will be duly prosecuted.

NSCDC Storms Cross River Creek, Arrests Seven Suspected Oil Thieves

The suspected oil thieves were arrested with more than 200 drums of diesel.

 

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has apprehended seven suspected members of an oil bunkering gang with over 200 drums of diesel valued at over N10 million at a creek in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The creek, located at the Jebbs area of Calabar South, is said to be a hideout and a major route for oil thieves and a hub for bunkering activities within states in the Niger Delta.

State Commandant, NSCDC, Stephen Lar, speaking shortly after parading the suspects and the products at the Jebbs creek, warned that the command was focused on ridding the creeks in the state of illegal activities.

The NSCDC boss decried oil bunkering as sabotage to the nation’s economy, noting that the oil thieves are using the creeks as a route to perpetuate the evil act.

Lar warned criminals using other creeks within the state for such nefarious activities to desist from doing so or be prepared to meet their Waterloo in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the products discovered with the suspects have been moved to the Civil defence office for testing while the suspects according to the command will be arraigned.

See photos below:

NSCDC Nabs Suspected Oil Thieves, Impounds 100 Diesel Tankers

NSCDC Nabs Suspected Oil Thieves, Impounds 100 Diesel Tankers
File photo

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has impounded 100 tankers of 1000 litres of automated gas oil, popularly known as diesel in Rivers State.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mohammed Haruna, said some trucks, buses and cars were intercepted alongside 33 suspected oil thieves in the state.

“The Anti-Vandal Team of the NSCDC has arrested 33 suspects, eight trucks, three vehicles, three buses and 100 tanks of 1000 litres of AGO in the state,” he said.

Haruna, who led reporters around the seized tankers on Thursday, said no form of pressure from any quarter would deter the prosecution and subsequent conviction of suspected oil thieves.

He also hinted that at least 71 convictions have been secured in about 12 months, stressing that the fight against oil theft was one that requires the corporate effort of all Nigerians.

“We will continue to go after those who continue to steal and waste the nation’s resources and we are carrying out investigations, prosecuting and securing convictions for suspected vandals.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), we took some to court, today we will do the same. In about 12 to 18 months we have secured about 71 convictions. We are making sure that offenders are brought to book. Our advice is that they stop these activities or we will get them,” the commandant warned.

Court Sentences Two Oil Bunkerers Five Years In Prison

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A Federal High Court sitting Calabar, the Cross River State capital has found two men guilty of oil bunkering and jailed them.

Justice I.E Ekwo sentenced Tony Ochonogo and Efe Alex to five years’ imprisonment each without an option of fine on Monday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had tried both men on four counts bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products without a licence.

Ochonogo was found guilty on counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 while Alex was convicted on counts 1 and 2. The sentence is to run concurrently.

Justice Ekwo also ordered that a truck used by the convicts to convey the illegally refined automotive gas oil and the products conveyed should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Ochonogo and Alex were arrested on March 20, 213 by officials of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

In the course of their arrest, a tanker truck loaded with 33, 000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil was impounded after it was discovered that a waybill they presented with the claim that it was issued to them from the Warri Refinery was fake.

Navy Arrests Five Suspected Oil Thieves In Akwa Ibom

The Nigerian Navy has arrested five suspected oil thieves in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.

The Commander, NNS Jubilee, Commodore Saidu Garba, disclosed this to newsmen while handing over the suspects to the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

“Men of the command, during a routine patrol intercepted two canoes and arrested the suspects with 11, 250 litres of Automobile Gas Oil (AGO).

“The arrest followed intensive patrol of the maritime environment, following intelligence information on the activities of oil thieves in the area,” Graba said.

Furthermore, he reiterated the determination of the command to deal decisively with crude oil thieves, sea pirates, pipeline vandals and other perpetrators of crime within its area of operation.

“The command admonishes oil thieves and other criminal elements operating within the maritime environment to refrain from such acts or face unpleasant consequences, as there will be no hiding place for criminals in the state.”

He also stated that the suspects had confessed to conveying the products from Bonny in Rivers to Akwa Ibom.

On her part, the Akwa Ibom NSCDC Commandant, Mrs Obiagelu Obiagulu, commended the Commander, officers and men of NNS Jubilee for their complementary role in fighting criminality within its maritime environment.

Obiagulu said the command had secured the conviction of 25 persons in the last five months, for various offences.

NSCDC Parades Eight Suspected Oil Thieves In Bayelsa

NSCDC Parades Eight Suspected Oil Thieves In BayelsaThe Bayelsa state command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), has paraded eight suspected oil thieves who were intercepted by officers of the command.

While on patrol, they uncovered the den of oil vandals in the heart of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, in a building which was said to be owned by a former member of the federal House of Representatives.

As the officers searched the compound, they discovered Jerry cans, industrial cellophane bags, cellophane sealing machines; as well as a tricycle for transporting the product.

The commandant explained that occupants of the building all fled on the arrival of the officers of the NSCDC, except for one man who was caught before he could escape.

Militancy had resurged in the Niger Delta in 2015, with series of attacks on pipelines and oil installations, forcing some oil companies to declare force majeure.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have affected Nigeria’s oil output and power supply, which largely depends on gas from that region.

However, as the fight against pipeline vandalism and oil theft intensifies, there is the urgent need for more reorientation on the ills of engaging in this destructive trade.

Buhari Wants More Security In Gulf Of Guinea To Check Oil Theft

muhammadu buhari and florentina adenike ukonga on Gulf of Guinea and maritime security Nigeria is looking to collaborate with other countries to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and check activities of oil thieves in the coast, President Buhari says.

The Nigerian leader made the statement at a meeting on Thursday with the Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Ambassador (Mrs) Florentina Ukonga, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said that most of Nigeria’s stolen crude oil is taken through the waterways.

President Buhari told the envoy that the commission was of strategic importance to plug revenue leakages.

“That region, between Senegal and Angola, affects our financial and physical security as a country. Nigeria will, therefore, meet all its obligations to the Gulf of Guinea Commission, and also encourage other member countries to do the same.

“This administration will do its best to strengthen maritime security. The rejuvenation of the Gulf of Guinea Commission is vital, and Nigeria will participate more effectively because of the security implications,” President Buhari stated.

A statement by a spokesman for President Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina said Ambassador Ukonga told President Buhari that the Commission was established in 2001 to tackle piracy, unregulated fishing, drugs and human trafficking and environmental pollution among others.

The Gulf of Guinea Commission, with headquarters in Luanda, Angola, also generates awareness among member states on the need to maintain security in their territorial waters.

“We have been giving the bad guys in maritime a run for their money,” the Executive Secretary said.

The Commission has eight countries as members from west and central Africa, with an intention to admit more countries soon.

Imo NSCDC Warns Pipeline Vandals, Oil Thieves   

NSCDC, Pipeline Vandals, Oil Thieves The newly posted Imo State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Mr Stephen Lar, has warned oil pipeline vandals, illegal miners, oil thieves and perpetrators of all other related crimes to stay off the state.

In his maiden briefing with newsmen in Owerri the Imo State capital, he said that the command has renewed drive to fight economic saboteurs in the country.

Mr Lar revealed that the command has commenced training and retraining of its staff to meet up with the present day challenges of oil pipe vandalism, kidnapping, oil theft and illegal mining.

He added that several officers of the command have been deployed to most of the oil producing areas of the state to mount active surveillance on oil installations to prevent any act of economic sabotage.

Mr Lar said that the command will not hesitate to punish anyone found guilty of any economic sabotage, which is a mandate given to them by the federal government.

While assuring Imo citizens of dedication and commitment to tackling crime in the state, Mr Lar called on officers and men of the command to cooperate with the new leadership in order to achieve their desired goals.

Committee Hands Over Suspected Oil Thieves To Police

OilThe Delta State Waterways and Land Security Committee has handed over four suspected oil bunkers to the Police.

While briefing reporters about the development, the Chairman of the committee, which was inaugurated late last year, Boro Oputu, said the suspects were also disposing locally refined diesel, produced and stored in caravans.

According to Mr Oputu, the mandate of the committee required that illegal bunkery sites and refineries in Delta State must be destroyed.

Although the preliminary investigation had already begun to unravel sponsors of the activity, he explained that an attempt to carry out the mandate eventually led to arguments and exchange of gunshots. He said that the suspects handed over to the police would be prosecuted.

While the suspects denied owning the refinery and accused the committee of requesting for a one million Naira bribe, the Head of Operations, Alfred Kperegbeyi, refuted the claims.

The group assured the people of Delta State and Nigerians that they would not rest until the state was rid of illegal bunkering activities.

They also asked the residents to provide timely information that could lead to the arrest of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

Seven Oil Thieves Bag 84 Years Jail Term

Oil thievesJustice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday convicted and sentenced seven men to a prison term of 84 years for dealing in 1,459 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petroleum product without obtaining lawful authority.

The convicts, who will each serve a jail term of 12 years, commencing from Friday, October 30 2015, are Adedamola Ogungbayi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali and Moses Emmanuel.

Others are Wilson Bonsi, Okaraodi Uche and Onyeogo Happy.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the vessel, MT Good Success, used by the convicts in perpetrating the crime, as well as the recovered petroleum product to the Federal Government.

In addition, Abang further ordered the forfeiture of the sums of N66.6m and $975,000 belonging to the convicts’ company, Hepa Global Energy Limited, domiciled with the First City Monument Bank.

He ordered the filing of an affidavit of compliance with the order within 21 days of the judgment.

The seven convicts, their vessel and company had on August 28, 2014 been re-arraigned on five counts before Abang, alongside one Padoun Jacob, who was on Friday discharged and acquitted by the court.

The judge, in setting Jacob free on all the five counts, described him as a desperate job seeker, who became a victim of circumstances.

He noted that the stolen product had been loaded before Jacob was employed by Hepa Global Energy Limited on February 7, 2014.

“The guilty should not escape punishment but the innocent should not be punished,” the judge held.

He, however, described the other convicts as enemies of the corporate existence of Nigeria, who had contributed to the economic woes of the country.

“The convicts have no sympathy for the corporate existence of this country. The seed of wrongdoing may be sown in secret but the harvest cannot be concealed. Today is the day of reckoning.

“You call it oil bunkering or pipeline vandalism, this menace has reached an alarming proportion in this country; enough is enough.

“The convicts are godless and lawless, without any particle of sympathy for this country. They are part of the people that have contributed to the economic woes of this country.

“The convicts planted thorns, they cannot expect to gather flowers; they sowed the wind, and they must gather whirlwind,” the judge held.

Although he noted that each of counts one to four attracted life sentence, he, however, sentenced each of the seven convicts to 10 years on each of the counts, to run concurrently from the judgment day.

He also sentenced each of them to two years on the fifth count.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the judge that the convicts violated sections 19(c) and 17 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

To prove his case, Oyedepo called a total of 11 witnesses, leading to the conviction and imprisonment of the seven convicts.