EFCC arraigns 19 for dealing in diesel without licence

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned 19 suspects over alleged  unlawful dealing in petroleum products before a Federal High Court, Lagos.

The 19 illegal dealers in a charge marked FHC/L/59c/19, are: Ayeni John, Emmanuel Tosu, Emopin Moneyin, Malade Aiyetimiyi, Odroja Ojuene, Ikedehinbu  Idowu, Abogun Ota, Elamah Augustine, Olarotimi Elikanah, Thankgod Benjamin, Abbas Friday and Victor Goldsmith.

Others are: Gbenga Thomas, Ibane Austine, Idowu Surprise, Asemia Thomas, Agbayoh Lawrence, Saliu Malik, Ayetiniyi Ademola 


They were arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa led-court on charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing in petroleum product and illegal storage of petroleum product.

Arraigning the defendants before the court, EFCC lawyer, Abubakar Idris, told the court that all the defendants were arrested by the men of Nigerian Navy sometimes in September, 2018, with 21,840 liters of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) popularly called Diesel without appropriate licence to deal in the product.

Idris also told the court that upon conclusion of investigation by the Nigerian Navy, the defendants were handed over to EFCC for prosecution.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendants are contrary to Sections 3(6), 1(17) and 4 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. And punishable under Sections 17 of the same Act.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty on the charges.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a date for trial, while also urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.

But the defendants’ lawyers Mr. O. S. Odueso and McAnthony Aikharialea told the court that they had filed their clients’ bail applications and that same have been served on the prosecution.

The defendants’ lawyer therefore urged the court to hear their clients’ applications, while adding that their clients have been in detention since when they were arrested by the Nigerian Navy since September, 2018.

Responding, the prosecutor told the court that he needed time to study and file a counter-affidavit to the defendants’ bail applications. 

Following the submissions of the prosecutor and defendants’ lawyers, Justice Aikawa ordered that all the defendants be remanded in prison pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined.

Justice Aikawa however said date of adjournment shall be communicated to both parties. 


Count one of the charges against the defendants read: “that you, Ayeni John, Emmanuel Tosu, Emopin Moneyin, Malade Aiyetimiyi, Odroja Ojuene, Ikedehinbu  Idowu, Abogun Ota, Elamah Augustine, Olarotimi Elikanah, Thankgod Benjamin, Abbas Friday, Victor Goldsmith, Gbenga Thomas, Ibane Austine, Idowu Surprise, Asemia Thomas, Agbayoh Lawrence, Saliu Malik, Ayetiniyi Ademola Between August and September, 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in about 21,840 litres of Automotive 605 Oil (AGO) without appropriate licence and 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 ”17) of the some Act. 

And Count two reads: “that you, Ayeni John, Emmanuel Tosu, Emopin Moneyin, Malade Aiyetimiyi, Odroja Ojuene, Ikedehinbu  Idowu, Abogun Ota, Elamah Augustine, Olarotimi Elikanah, Thankgod Benjamin, Abbas Friday, Victor Goldsmith, Gbenga Thomas, Ibane Austine, Idowu Surprise, Asemia Thomas, Agbayoh Lawrence, Saliu Malik, Ayetiniyi Ademola Between August and September, 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without appropriate licence dealt with about 21,840 Litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and thereby committed on offence contrary and punishable under Section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

While the third count reads: “that you, Emmanuel Tosu, Thankgod Benjamin, Abbas Friday, Victor Goldsmith, Gbenga Thomas, Ibane Austine, Idowu Surprise, Asemia Thomas and Agbayon Lawrence Between August and September, 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without appropriate licence stored about 21,840 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in two fibre boots and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

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