The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, arraigned 12 persons, a vessel, MT Mother Comfort, and a firm, Azamosa Limited, for allegedly dealing in 240 metric tonnes of Automative Gas Oil (diesel) without appropriate licence or lawful authority.
The defendants were arraigned on three counts before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Besides the vessel and the firm, the other defendants are Ojajuni Adebowale, Dele Napoleon, Aderemi Akinade, Stephen Ogunboye, Ekene Okendu, Agbanoma John, Azu Okengwu, Alum Julius, Awah Ucheojo, Femi James, Odenike Rasaq and Neele Keerebari.
The EFCC told the court that they committed the crime on July 24, 2020 in Lagos.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mohammed Idris, said the defendants acted contrary to sections 3(3) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and were liable to punishment under Section 1(17) of the same Act.
He said the defendants also violated Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
But the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following an application by their lawyer, Sola Obaribirin, Justice Hassan admitted the defendants to N10m bail each with one surety in like sum.
The judge, however, ordered that they should be remanded in custody pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions.
He adjourned till February 4 and 5, 2021 for trial.