A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced 26 fraudsters for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The convicts including 24 individuals, one company and a vessel were slammed with various jail terms.
They were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office.
The anti-graft Spokesman, Tony Orilade disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
He said 12 of the convicts who got their jail terms on Friday are: Abubakar Lawal; Mustapha Babagana; Christian Nweke; Ikpaikpai Elvis; Abdullahi Bawa; Hamson Sadiq; John Owoicho; Elewa Roy; Areh Sunday; Nafiu Sani, Emeka Michael and Kingsely Ihuoma.
Orilade added that the rest 14 including 12 individuals, one company and a vessel were convicted and sentenced on Thursday, August 8, and they are: Kabiru Saidu; Saleh Muhammed; Yusuf Bala; Salisu Usman; Hamisu Sha’Ibu; Aliyu Muhammed; Umar Mohammed; Muhammed Aliya; Sunday Emmanuel Udo; Mallam Garba Abubakar, Ifeanyi Duru and Sani Haruna. The company and the vessel are: Solution Mark Nig.Ltd, and M.V. Chi-Ebubeh.
Further, it was learnt that the first set of convicts, 12 of them, were arraigned on Friday, August 9, by the EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on a one-count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The count charges read: “That you Abubakar Lawal sometimes in April, 2018, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did distribute petroleum product (Automotive Gas Oil) with Daf with registration number AKD 893 XG without a 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”.
But the defendants pleaded guilty to the count charge when it was read to them.
On this basis, prosecuting counsels Samuel Chime; M. T Iko; E. Abbiyesku; F. O Amama; Celestina Okorie and K. W Chukwuma-Eneh reportedly prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
Also, Counsels to the defendants, Babatunde Opadola; J. C Okere; O. M Ofodili; A. D Ndaboye, C. O Odoemena, and M. M Suleiman did not oppose the prayers of the prosecution.
In his ruling, Justice A. T. Mohammed convicted and sentenced Lawal, Babagana and Nweke to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N100,000.00 each while Elvis; Bawa; Sadiq; Owoicho; Roy; Sunday; Sani, Michael and Ihuoma were sentenced to a fine of N100.000 each, respectively.
The Judge also ordered that the products conveyed in the various trucks be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Trouble started for the convicts, Orilade affirmed when they were intercepted by men and officers of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, at different locations in Port Harcourt, for illegal dealing in petroleum products without necessary licenses.
The convicts were also arrested alongside trucks with registration numbers: AKD 893 XG; XA 452 NNR; PBT 525 XA; KHE 477 XA; RGG 183 XA; EPE 238 XN; ABN 948 YN; XW 775 FST; WMK 130 XA; XB 252 KMC, BGM 209 XA and APP 348 XM while distributing and storing illegally refined AGO and carrying out anti- bunkering operations.
The second set of convicts, 14 of them, were arraigned last Thursday, August 8, 2019 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on one-count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum product.
Wike Pays Tribute To Late Chief Okagbule Amadi
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described Late Chief Okagbule Amadi as an inspiration and dynamic personality whose life exemplified service to humanity and God.
In a condolence message to Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi over the passage of his father, Late Chief Okagbule Amadi, Governor Wike wrote that the Patriarch served his community and the State.
He wrote: “Chief Okagbule Amadi was an inspiration as a dynamic personality with life characterised by service to God and humanity. As the family head, he was a beacon of light, love and progress to the Rumomeh Royal family of Elibrada.
“As a member of the Ohna in both Elibrada and Emohua, Chief Amadi was steadfast in purpose and total commitment to the progress of society. As the leader of Elders of Saint Philips Anglican Church , Elibrada Parish, he strengthened the Church and contributed to its growth.”
While offering the condolence of the Government and people of Rivers State, Governor Wike urged the family to take solace in the enduring legacies that Late Chief Okagbule Amadi left behind.
He prayed God to grant the family the strength to bear the irreparable loss.
Governor Wike and his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike joined other sympathisers for the funeral service in honour of Late Chief Okagbule Amadi at the Saint Philips Anglican church, Elibrada on Saturday.
The funeral service had in attendance High Court judges, judges of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal, senior lawyers and senior officials of the Rivers State Government.
PHCCIMA Promises To Support Youth Initiatives
The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has said that it will continue to support initiatives that will build capacity and expose youths to new global realities, especially in recognition of the fact that the future rests on the younger generation,
President of PHCCIMA, Chief Nabil Saleh, made this declaration at the 10th anniversary of FutureTrust Initiative for Capacity Building, and 2nd edition of The African Futuretrust Model United Nations (TAFMUN) conference held at the L.A Kings and Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
He said following this recognition, PHCCIMA has continued to equip and make available critical support for her youth wing, the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs (NYE), PHCCIMA Chapter, providing them with guidance, access to funds, and advocacy.
“As a Chamber, we have a clear mandate to grow businesses and promote the private sector, as well as liaise with the public sector to achieve economic development. This is why PHCCIMA is throwing her weight behind this programme to stimulate youth interest in capacity building and leadership”, he said..
He expressed confidence that the experience the children will gather through the conference will in no small way prepare them for leadership in African in a new path of progress.
Saleh congratulated the organisers and consultant of the event for what he called “this unique project,” and lauded the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dame Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Namibian High commissioner, H.E Humphrey D Geiseb, and SPDC for their role in the success of the programme.
PDP Rounds Off Guber Campaigns In Bayelsa
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) says it has rounded off its campaigns for the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election.
Addressing party faithfuls and supporters, National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus urged them to be steadfast in their support and willingness to work for the party and its gubernatorial candidate.
Secondus called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to maintain the sanctity of the ballot, stressing that in past elections conducted under the watch of the APC administration, INEC in connivance with security operatives had skewed the process to favour the All Progressives Congress, emphasising that the world is watching as it conducts the forthcoming Bayelsa and Kogi States elections.
Also speaking, Governor of Bauchi State and Chairman of the Bayelsa State Governorship election Committee, Bala Mohammed described the APC as a party doomed for failure, saying that Bayelsa is synonymous with the PDP.
The Bauchi state governor, lambasted the All Progressives Congress, insisting that from 2015 – date when the APC has been in control of the Federal Government no meaningful achievement has been recorded in the nation, calling on Bayelsans to vote massively for the PDP so as to consolidate on the achievements of the out-going PDP administration.
Assuring Bayelsans that the party would maintain power in the state, the state Governor Seriake Dickson called on party faithful never to bow down to pressure from federal might during the election, emphasising that the party has the structure to win all elections in the state.
Dickson said, “the PDP has 105/105 counsellors in the state, we have 8/8 local government chairmen in the state. We also have 8/8 vice chairmen and out of 23 Assembly members the PDP has 19. That only 10 out of thousands of members defected does not mean that the party is affected. We are not affected at all. All the party stakeholders from southern Ijaw are still in the PDP.”
Governor Dickson who described Bayelsa State and Ijaw land as PDP stronghold applauded spectators and party stakeholders for turning in their numbers for the grand finale of the Gubernatorial campaigns, stressing that records available to him show that the party would win the forthcoming polls.
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