THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, arraigned four suspected criminals and a vessel before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The defendants, Ukwuoma Ahamefula, Omeogor Nelson, Efemuaya Evans and Jude Eghreriniovo, were arrested alongside a vessel, MV Tim Begele, by the Nigerian Navy and subsequently handed over to the EFCC for prosecution.
One of the counts reads: “That you, MV Tim Begele, Ukwuoma Ahamefula, Omeogor Nelson, Efemuaya Evans, Jude Eghreriniovo and others now at large on the 3rd of December, 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 3,911 metric tons of petroleum products without appropriate licence; and you, thereby, committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.”
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court for a trial date and also asked that the defendants be remanded in Nigerian Correctional Services, NCS.
Counsel for the defendants, Peter Atabo, prayed the Court for a short date to enable the hearing of his clients’ applications for bail.
Consequently, Justice Liman adjourned the matter until April 1, 2020 for hearing and also ordered the defendants to be remanded in the NCS.