EFCC arraigns 3 for oil theft, another 3 for forgery

Posted by News Express | 7 May 2015 | 3,541 times

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the trio of Bernard Efe Omoaiwua, Osahenruwen Osaguona and Osaro Arasowman before Justice Phoebe M. Ayua of the Federal High Court, Lokoja on a three-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in crude oil.

The accused persons were arrested along the Lokoja-Abuja‎ express way with three trucks of the product with no license or proper documentation by officers of Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army.

Upon this discovery, the trucks were impounded and the accused transferred to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

Count one reads:

“That you Bernard Efe Omoaiwua, Osahenrunwen Osaguona, Osaro Arasowman and  Tony Okundia (now at large), Aaron Idahosa (now at large), Blessed Goodluck (now at large), and Ali Egbunu (now at large) sometime between 31st of May 2014 at Osanseni Village, Lokoja-Abuja road within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Lokoja Division, Kogi State were arrested by Guards Brigade Nigeria Army with three trucks loaded with 33,000 Litres of illegally acquired crude oil from Niger Cat Yard, Warri in Delta State, did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: did without lawful authority or an appropriate license, deal in crude oil and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria”.

Another count reads:

“That you Osaro Arasowman sometimes between 31st day of May, 2014 at Osanseni village Lokoja-Abuja road within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Lokoja Division, Kogi State, was arrested by Guards Brigade Nigeria Army with three trucks loaded with 33,000 Litres of illegally acquired crude oil from Niger Cat Yard Warri, without lawful authority or an appropriate license deal in crude oil with a DAF 95 truck with registration number BKW 244 XA, carrying 33,000 Litres of black oil and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1(7) (a)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014”.

Upon the accused pleas, counsel to EFCC, Steve Odiase asked the court for a date to commence trial. However, the defence counsel, S. T Amodu told the court that, he had a pending application for the bail of the accused. He prayed to move it.

‎Odiase however objected. He argued that he needed time to respond formally.

Justice Ayua ordered the accused persons to be remanded in Koton-Karfe prison custody and adjourned the matter to May 26, 2015 for hearing of the bail application.

In another development, the EFCC yesterday arraigned the trio of Mohammed Zahradeen Bello, Abdullahi Musa and Yusuf Baba before Justice I. U Bello of Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on a five-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, conspiracy and forgery.

The suspects allegedly conspired and stole a Right of Occupancy belonging to Freelands Estate Limited from the custody of Abuja Geographic Information Systems, AGIS.

Count one reads: “That you Mohammed Zahradeen Bello, Abdullahi Musa and Yusuf Baba sometime in February, 2012 in Abuja within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja did conspire among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit; theft of a Right of Occupancy Number MISC 103986 Plot No 4057 belonging to Freelands Estate Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Law Cap. 532 LFN (1990) Abuja and punishable under Section 97 of the same law.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Upon their pleas, the defence counsel, S. A. Adeleye urged the court to admit the accused persons to bail pending trial.

Justice Bello ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to May 20 and 27, 2015 for ruling on the bail application and commencement of trial respectively.

*Photo shows EFCC officials


Source: News Express

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