Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced the duo of Nura Hassan and Uchenna Iwuoha to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000.00) each for illegal dealing in petroleum products contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2007 and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act.
The convicts were arraigned on Friday, August 23, 2019, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on one- count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products without appropriate licenses.
The one -count charge read:
“That you Nura Hassan, being the driver on board a DAF Truck with registration number ZUR 219 YL on or about the 22nd day of November, 2017 at Abonema within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did deal in petroleum products to wit: loading illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2007, and punishable under Section 4(6) of the same Act”.
The convicts pleaded “guilty” to the one- count separate charge when read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, F.O. Amama and S. Chime prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. Defense counsel, O.N.Ofordile and P.C. Dike did not oppose the prosecution counsel’s prayers.
Justice A.T. Mohammed convicted and sentenced Hassan and Iwuoha to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (100,000.00) each.
The Judge also ordered that that the content of the trucks they were arrested with should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The convicts’ journey to prison started when they were intercepted by men of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt sometimes in 2018 and 2019 at different locations loading and distributing AGO using different trucks with registration numbers ZUR 219 YL and XA 225 GML without appropriate licences. They were later handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.