Court remands 10 accused over Arepo pipeline vandalism

Arepo fire22 May 2013, Lagos – A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday continued to remand 10 persons charged with oil pipeline vandalism and murder of three engineers.

Justice Mohammed Idris still remanded the accused in the Ikoyi Prisons. The accused include Joel Inerepamu, 25; Reuben Oluwole, 60; John Isaiah, 28; Ineye Okposa, 40, and Timi Gunugunu, 22.

The others are Olisa Saheed, 25; Jigo Jiperende, 31; Timi Koro, 29; Johnbosco Igbhofose, 26, and Peter Opidi, 28. They are standing trial on a seven-count charge.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the accused persons were on April 29 arraigned on an amended seven-count charge.

The amendment of the charge was due to inclusion of additional four accused persons. Six of the accused had earlier been arraigned.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty during arraignment and were remanded by Idris.

When the case was mentioned on Wednesday, counsel to the first six accused, Mr George Iheanacho, informed the court that the remaining four accused had yet to secure legal representation.

Consequently, Idris urged Iheanacho to assist the four accused persons to secure representation from the Legal Aid Council.

The judge remanded all the accused pending their legal representation as he adjourned the case to June 18 for substantive trial.

The Prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang, had submitted that the accused conspired to vandalise an oil pipeline in Arepo, Ogun, on Sept. 5, 2012.

Enang said that they also illegally scooped out large quantities of petrol from the pipeline, for sale.

He added that the accused shut and killed three engineers from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, who were on routine maintenance of pipelines in the area.

According to the prosecutor, the offences contravene Sections 3(6), 7(a), 7(b), and 17(a) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, 2004, as well as Section 319 of the Criminal Code of the Federation, 2004.

NAN reports that murder attracts death penalty.

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