Nigerian court sends three oil thieves to jail

*The three convicted oil thieves.

Mkpoikana Udoma

Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State has convicted and sentenced the trio of John Ofuafo Stanley, Ogba Joseph and Samson E. Ogbevire, to various jail terms for illegally dealing in petroleum products.

They were jailed after pleading guilty to a two-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products alongside a vessel, MV Steph-1 upon arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

One of the charge reads; “That You John Ofuafo Stanley, Ogba Joseph and Samson .E. Ogbevire on or about the 6th July, 2023 at KFT Yard Edjeba, along NPA express way, Warri South Local Government of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: dealt in petroleum product to wit; unspecified quantity of AGO which is not of a quality expected of the product and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition), 2004 and punishable under section 1 (18)(a)(i) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, Francis Jirbo to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

The judge, Justice M.I Sani convicted and sentenced Stanley, Joseph and Ogbevire to two years imprisonment for each of the two counts or an option of N300,000 on each of the counts.

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Justice Sani also convicted the 4th defendant, (MV Steph-1) to a fine of N4million in lieu of its final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.

The convicts’ journey to prison began following their arrest by officers of the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Delta for illegal dealing in Petroleum products.

They were handed over to EFCC the Commission on November 21st 2023 for further investigation and possible prosecution.

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