Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, at the weekend, remanded a suspected oil thief, Mallam Julius Obi, in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of a N10 million bail granted him by the court.
Obi was arraigned on Friday, April 24th by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal office before Justice H.I.O Oshomah, of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt on one count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum product without license.
The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act.
The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of His plea, the prosecution counsel, M.T. Iko, prayed the court to remand the defendant in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre. However, defense counsel, O.E. Keri, urged the court to consider the bail application of the defendant pending before it and grant him bail.
Justice Oshomah granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a Civil Servant or a Public Officer who must file an affidavit of means and their resident status verified.
The court allowed the defendant’s cousin who was in court to stand as the second surety and ordered that Obi be remanded in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of his bail terms.
The matter was adjourned till the 8th and 9th June, 2020 for commencement of trial.
According to EFCC, the suspect was arrested in March 14, 2020 by officers of 222 Battalion Operation Delta Safe, who were on anti-bunkering patrol around Erahwa community in Isoko Local Government Area of Delta State, where he allegedly own and runs three illegal oil refineries.
The suspect was arrested together with a Mitsubishi black jeep with registration number PF429SPY.