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Bunkering: 14 Suspects Arrested In Lagos

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun Isola presiding over a Federal High Court, Lagos, southwest, Nigeria, has fixed 19th October, 2016, for the trial of 10 individuals, three companies and a vessel, arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on alleged unlawful and Illegal dealing of petroleum products.
       The 10 arrested individuals are; Abu Ali Jibia, Akume Surprise, Boglo Babatunde, Umar Mohammed, Nafiu Hussaini, Ibrahim Yakubu, Calvin Ajike, Alhassan Oseni, Kenneth Osei, and Korlee Uebari, while the vessel and the three companies are; MT Swordfish, Habourpoint Nigeria Limited, Chidodo Acess Oil & Gas Limited and Millennium Jetty and Marine Services Limited.
     The accused are facing trial on five counts charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing in Automated Gas Oil, (AGO), popularly called Diesel, unlawful distribution of adulterated petroleum products and dealing in petroleum product that was below expected quality.
      EFCC In the charged marked FHC/L/216C/2013, alleged that the accused had on or about May 22, 2013, at Liberty Jetty, Marina, Lagos, without lawful appropriate license, stored and distributed two barges and two petrol tanker trucks of adulterated Automated Gas Oil (AGO).
    The accused persons were also alleged to have at the same place, time and date, dealt in Automated Gas Oil (AGO), which was of less quality expected of the product.
        The offences alleged to have been committed are contrary to and punishable under sections 516, 4, 1(17)(b), 1(18)(a)(I), of the criminal code Act Cap 17, and of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M 17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The accused who pleaded not guilty to all the counts, were admitted to bail by the court.
     At the resumed trial of the matter, the prosecutor Mrs E.A. Oyedotun, urged the court for an adjournment on the ground that the case file has just been assigned to her, and that she needs time to study the case file.
  However, the counsel to the accused persons' Barrister  Abiodun Onidare, leading nine other lawyers opposed the prosecutor's application for adjournment, and urged the court to strike out the charge for lack of diligent prosecution.
      Mr Onidare submitted that since the anti-graft agency filed the charge since 2013, it has failed to commence trial. He therefore urged the court to strike out the charge for lack of diligent prosecution.
However, in her ruling the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola, upheld the prosecutor's application, and while adjourning the matter till October 19, for trial of the accused persons to commence ordered EFCC to pay the sum of N50,000.

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