Oil theft: Court revokes bail for accused

Oil theft

Oil theft

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

14 April 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
Justice E. S Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja has revoked the bail earlier granted to one Ibrahim Saidu who is standing trial alongside one Joseph Amaechi and twelve others in a case of conspiracy and illegal oil bunkering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The other accused include Israel Friday, Ubadia Francis, Abayomi Adebisi, Abdullahi Idris, Samuel Job, Onah Peter Ode, Sabo Tasha Hassan, Abdullahi Moh’d, Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ehiogu Paul, Ibrahim Saidu, Garba Mohammed and Bartholomew Onyema.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Salisu A. Majidadi announced his appearance for the prosecution while D. M Ogolime and Abdullahi Liman represented the accused persons, setting the stage for the defence to open its case.

Having already enjoyed several adjournments, Ogolime again told the court that the twelfth accused person, Ibrahim Saidu had a challenge while travelling and could not make it to court. She urged the court to oblige them an adjournment till tomorrow when hopefully the accused will be present in court.

Apparently angered by the application, Justice Chukwu revoked the bail of the accused person. The trial judge had at the last sitting on March 12, 2015 threatened to revoke the bail earlier granted the accused persons should they further fail to be physically present in court.

He warned that his court will not entertain deliberate attempts by any counsel to frustrate trial through frivolous applications.

The case has been adjourned to Tuesday, April 14, 2015 for continuation of hearing.

It will be recalled that the fourteen suspected oil thieves were docked on May 9, 2013, on a four count charge of wilful and malicious breaking of oil pipelines which they all pleaded not guilty to.

Following their pleas, Justice Chukwu admitted the accused persons to bail on June 12, 2013.

However, after the close of the prosecution’s case almost a year ago, the defence have been employing all means known to law to frustrate the case as a result of which the court has granted several adjournments

The accused persons were arrested at Toto Military checkpoint, Nasarawa State with 14 trailer load of suspected stolen crude oil after a failed attempt to bribe their way through.

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