JUSTICE S. D. Pam, and Justice S. I. Mark, of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Levi Jonathan, Timipriye Amos, Ogbonna .U. Emmanuel, Ezie Kenneth and Saturday Sobere to two years in the Correctional Service for illegal dealing in petroleum products without any license.
They were convicted on April 7, 2022 after pleading “guilty” to separate one-count charge preferred against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for illegally dealing in Petroleum Product.
One of the counts read, “That you, Timipriye Amos on or about the 6th day of December, 2021 around the creek on Akassa River, Bayelsa State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority and license dealt in Crude Oil to wit: 700,000 litres conveyed in MT. TIS IV and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2004 and punishable under Section 1 (17) (b) of the same Act”
Another Count reads, “That you Ogbonna .U. Emmanuel on or about the 6th day of December, 2021 around the creek on Akassa River, Bayelsa State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority and license dealt in Crude Oil to wit: 700,000 litres conveyed in MT. TIS IV and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2004 and punishable under Section 1 (17) (b) of the same Act”
They pleaded “guilty” to the charges.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, K. W. Chukwuma-Eneh and D. C. Kadiri, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants as charged.
Counsel to the Defendants, B. C. Okeadaka prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that they are first time offenders with no previous criminal records.
Justices Pam and Mark convicted and sentenced the defendants to Two years in the Correctional Service with an option of fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) each payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ordered that the convicts should depose to affidavit of good behaviours before the court.
Jonathan, Amos, Emmanuel, Kenneth and Sobere’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when they were apprehended by officers of Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Soroh in Bayelsa on the 6th of December, 2021 at Akasa River in Bayelsa State for illegally dealing in petroleum product without a license.
The Convicts were arrested on board a vessel laden with about 700,000 litres of Crude Oil around Brass Terminal jetty in Bayelsa State.
They were subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
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