Home CRIME Oil theft: Four sentenced for Illegal oil bunkering in Port Harcourt

Oil theft: Four sentenced for Illegal oil bunkering in Port Harcourt

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By Chukwudi Ejimofor, Port-Hrcourt

The Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State presided over by Justice A. T Mohammed  has convicted and sentenced Abdullahi Yahaya, Suleiman Hassan and Salisu Abubakar to two years imprisonment each and handed a fine of N500,000 ( Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) to one Monday Major for illegal dealing in petroleum products.

The convicts were arraigned on Monday, July 29, 2019 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, on 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) of the same Act.

Trouble began for Yahaya, Hassan and Abubakar when they were intercepted by Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt sometime in June 2019 at Aluu General Area, Port Harcourt distributing Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) using a DAF Tanker with registration number FST 12XB without an appropriate license. Major on the other hand, was intercepted distributing diesel with a Mack Tanker with registration number XP 711 PHC without a requisite license.

The one-count charge reads: “That you Abdullahi Yahaya, Suleiman Hassan and Salisu Abubakar, sometime in June, 2019, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court did distribute petroleum product (Automotive Gas Oil) with DAF Tanker with registration number FST 12 XB, without licence 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) of the same Act.”

For Monday, his charge reads: “That you Monday Mayor, on or about June, 2018, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did distribute petroleum product (Automotive Gas Oil) with Mark Tanker XP 711 PHC, without licence 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) of the same Act”.

They all as defendants, pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them. In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, S. Chime prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. The defence counsels did not oppose the prayers of the prosecution.

Justice Mohammed, accordingly, convicted and sentenced Yahaya, Hassan and Abubakar to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) each, while he convicted Major and sentenced him to a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only. The judge also ordered that the petroleum products they were caught with be forfeited to the federal government.

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