18 June 2015, Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned nine foreigners and a vessel before a Federal High sitting in Lagos, over unlawful possession of petroleum products.
Others are Bangladesh — Md Zahirul Islam, Islam Shahinul, Islam Rafiqul and Shaikn Shibli Nomany.
The name of the vessel docked along with the accused is MT Asteris.
They are standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on illegal dealing and storage of petroleum product without appropriate licence.
The Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said that the accused committed the offences on March 27 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
He said that the accused conspired among themselves and dealt in 3,423 metric tonnes of petroleum products without lawful authority or appropriate licence.
Oyedepo also alleged that the accused on the same day and time stored 3,423 metric tonnes of petroleum products in MT Asteris’ cargo tanks.
He said that the offences contravened Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He also said the offences contravened Section 1(19)(6) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 17 of the same Act.
The accused pleaded not guilty.
The Counsel to the accused, Mr Femi Adegbite, however, applied for the bail of the accused which was not opposed by the prosecutor.
The Judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, granted each of the accused N50 million-bail with one surety each in like sum.
Buba said that each of the sureties must be a Nigerian, must provide evidence of means and should also deposit their International passports with the court.
He adjourned the case till June 23, for trial.