Legal Nigeria

EFCC arraigns 10, vessel over illegal oil deal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)on Monday arraigned 10 persons and a vessel, MV Peace, over alleged oil bunkering.
They were arrested with 200 metric tons of petroleum products.
EFCC said they conspired to commit the crime by dealing in petroleum products without appropriate licence on April 4.
The accused are – the vessel’s captain James Abatan, Wasiu Owonikoko, Patrick Ameh, Johson Ademola, Felix Otto, Chigozie Oguike, Olu Salisu, Jomo Gadagbe, Kunle Saheed and Rasheed Adio.
The alleged offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 3 (1) (6) (17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The accused were said to have stored the products without lawful authority, an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Defence counsel, Dada Awoshika, urged the court to grant them bail, adding that the vessel was duly certified by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Naval authorities to operate on the Nigerian territorial waters.
But EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said it was the Navy who handed the accused persons over to the commission for dealing in petroleum products without license.
He added that samples of the cargo on board the vessel was analysed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
He said it was confirmed that the product conformed to Automated Gas Oil (AGO), and that the accused were unable to produce genuine license from the DPR authorising them to deal in the product.
Oyedepo said the vessel was owned by a company called D Dove Oil and Maritime Services Limited with its registered address at Plot 2, Lateef Jakande Road, Agindingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to him, following further enquiry, the company’s directors hurriedly relocated to an unknown destination.