08 May 2013, Abuja – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will on Thursday, May 9, 2013 arraign 14 suspected oil thieves before a Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja on charges bordering on conspiracy and illegal oil bunkering.
The anti-corruption body disclosed this in a statement, Wednesday, by acting head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.
The statement listed the suspects to include Joseph Amaechi, Israel Friday, Ubadia Francis, Abayomi Adebisi, Abdullahi Idris, Samuel Job, Onah Peter Ode and Sabo Tasha Hassan.
Others are Abdullahi Moh’d, Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ehiogu Paul, Ibrahim Saidu, Garba Mohammed and Bartholomew Onyema.
According to Uwujaren, the suspects were arrested at a military checkpoint at Toto, Nasarawa State by officers of the 177 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army, while attempting to transport 14 trailer loads of crude oil to the Northern states.
The officers, he said, became suspicious of the activities of the suspects when one of them, Joseph Amaechi sought to bribe his way through the checkpoint by offering to pay N20,000 for each of the trucks.
Upon the arrest of the suspects, they were handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
Investigations revealed that the suspects are members of a syndicate that specialises in stealing of crude oil, Uwujaren added, stating that the group led by Joseph Amaechi, operates with the backing of one Dodo Chilla Bulus, an assistant superintendent of police, who currently serves as Commander, Federal Task Force (Pipeline Vandalism), Abuja sector, and some unscrupulous members of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s maintenance team.
The suspects are to be prosecuted on a four-count charge.