Five oil thieves have been convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in separate judgment by the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
While Justice Phoebe M. Ayuba convicted and sentenced Peter Listen, Monday Nwibe to six months imprisonment each and Okechukwu Nwosu to two years imprisonment, Justice A.T Muhammed convicted and sentenced Dahiru Danborno and Sani Haruna to two years imprisonment each.
They were all jailed for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The five convicts were jailed after pleading “guilty” to one- count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products, upon their arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
One of the charge against the convicts read: “That you Peter Listen and Monday Nwibe on or about the 18th of January, 2020 along Port Harcourt/Eket Road, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in petroleum product to wit: Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) contained in 12 Jerry cans conveyed in a Volkswagen Jetta car with Registration Number RGM 787 AA and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (18) (a)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007”.
Another charge read: “That you Dahiru Danborno on the 2nd day of June 2021, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did without appropriate license deal in about Forty-Five Thousand (45,000) litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and thereby committed an Offence contrary to Section 17 (a) of Miscellaneous Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act”.
They all pleaded “guilty” to the one charge separately preferred against them by the EFCC.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel: C. Okorie, Bobby Kabiri and Endebba Abbiyesuku prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However, defense counsel: Daminabo Davies Livingstone, Obinna Ofordili and David Ayuba prayed the court to temper justice with mercy stressing that they were first-time offenders.
Justice Ayuba convicted and sentenced Listen and Nwibe to six months imprisonment each with an option of fine of Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000) and Nwosu to two years imprisonment, with an option of fine of N15, 000( Fifteen Thousand Naira only).
Also, Justice Muhammed convicted and sentenced Danborno and Haruna to two years imprisonment each, with the separate option of fines.
Danborno was given an option of a fine of N500, 000( Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) while Haruna was given an option of a fine of N200,000( Two Hundred Thousand Naira only).
The two Judges ordered that petroleum products arrested with the convicts be sold by the Deputy Registrar of the court, in conjunction with EFCC officials, and the proceeds paid into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Government. Also, all the vehicles arrested with the convicts: Volkswagen Jetta car with Registration Number RGM 787 AA and Mercedes Truck with registration number: XL 634 UWN be returned to their owners.
The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre began when they were separately arrested by the anti- bunkering team of the 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State for illegal dealing in petroleum products. They were later handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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