Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered that seven men be kept in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Services for allegedly dealing in Petroleum products without legal authority.
The men: Etta Agboriso; Asike Collins Omonegho; Ubani T. Friday; Akinola A. Olantrwaju; Sanusi Adeola; Njoku O. Joshua and Sunday Okenwa, were arraigned before the court alongside their vessel, Mt. D’Favour.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused them of unlawful dealing in 150 metric tonnes of Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel.
The prosecutor, Mohammed Bashir told the court that the defendants were arrested sometimes in March 2019, by the men of Nigerian Navy.
Bashir also informed the court that the defendants violated Sections 17(a & b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004 and their offence is punishable under the same Law.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, and that the defendants be remanded in the custody of Nigeria Correctional Services till the conclusion of the trial.
But, their counsel, urged the court to remand them in EFCC’s custody till the hearing and determination of their bail applications.
In a short ruling, Justice Aneke, ordered that all the defendants be remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Services, before adjourning the matter till April 24, for trial.