Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced one Abdullahi Umar to two years imprisonment for dealing in petroleum products without appropriate license.
Umar was arrested while conveying 15,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil, AGO, or diesel by operatives of the Six Division, Nigeria Army on October 7, 2021, around Okporowo in Port Harcourt, and was subsequently handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, alongside his truck, for investigation and prosecution.
He was convicted on Monday after pleading “guilty” to a one-count charge preferred against him by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the EFCC.
The one count charge read: “That you, Abdullahi Umar, being the driver on board Axor Tanker with registration number: ENU 952 ZE on or about the 7th October, 2021 at Okporowo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority dealt in petroleum product, to wit: 15,000 litres of AGO and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) (ii) of the same Act”
The convict pleaded “guilty” when the charge was read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, M. T. Iko, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
Counsel to the defendant, A.S. W. Amadi, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy since the suspect was a first-time offender with no previous criminal records.
The judge, Justice S. D. Pam, convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment in a Correctional Centre with an option of fine of N500,000 payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federation.
Justice Pam ordered that the 15,000 litres of illegally refined AGO contained in the arrested truck with registration number: ENU 952 ZE, be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and sold by the Secretary of the EFCC, or any other person designated by him.
The judge ordered that the proceeds of the sale should be paid into the EFCC’s Recovery Account domiciled with the Central bank of Nigeria. He also released the truck to its owner.
The judge also ordered the convict to depose to an affidavit of good behaviour before the court.
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