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EFCC arraigns vessel, six alleged oil thieves

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, September 28, 2017 arraigned a vessel, MT Vine, and six suspected oil thieves before a Federal High Court, Lagos.

Federal High Court

The Federal High Court in Lagos

They were arrested for allegedly stealing 1080 Metric Tons of Automated Gas Oil (AGO), popularly known as diesel.

Those arraigned alongside the vessel are Okpene Peter, Lateef Akin, Sarumi Evans, Obodo Cosmos and Onipede Kayode.

However, the fifth suspect, Adams Akeem, was arraigned in absentia.

The EFCC, in the four-count charge, said the suspects had on June 12, 2017, conspired among themselves to deal in petroleum products without lawful authority.

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They were also alleged to have unlawfully stored 1080 Metric tons of AGO in MT Vine’s cargo tank and equally distributed the product.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to sections 19(6), 17 and 4 of the Petroleum Act. Cap. P. Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 17 of the same Act.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty, after the charges were reading to them.

However, the trial judge, Rilwan Aikawa, ordered that all the accused persons to be remanded in  EFCC’s custody till October 6, to rule on their bail applications.

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Chinyere Obia

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