Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, at the weekend, convicted and sentenced an oil tanker driver, Samuel Obameiye, to two years imprisonment for transportation of illegally acquired petroleum products.
Obameiye was jailed on Friday after pleading guilty to a one-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products, upon his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The charge read; “That you Samuel Obameiye being the Driver on board a truck with registration MUS 282 XU, on 27th April, 2018 along Port Harcourt-Aba expressroad in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in petroleum products to wit: loaded and transporting AGO, which was not of quality expected of such product and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (18) (a) Punishable Under Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2004”.
The defendant pleaded “guilty” to the charge preferred against him.
In view of the plea, Prosecuting Counsel, F. C. Obinwa, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
However, Counsel to the Defendant, D. D. Ayuba, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendant “for he a first-time offender having no previous criminal records.”
The Judge, Justice P.M Ayuba, convicted and sentenced, Obameiye to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250,000 payable into the Federal Government account.
Justice Ayuba, also ordered the truck involved in the offence to be released to its owner and the 21 drums of illegally- refined AGO, arrested with the convict, to be sold by the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court in conjunction with EFCC officials.
Obameiye’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when he was handed over to the EFCC by the Six Division, Nigerian Army upon his arrest by the anti- bunkering team of the Division.
He was arrested alongside a truck with registration number MUS 282 XU loaded with 21 drums of suspected illegally refined petroleum product.