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.
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.