Updated: February 28, 2021
Justice E.A Obile of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 convicted and sentenced Chigozie Oguadimma to two years imprisonment for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
Oguadimma was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 on a one-count charge, bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
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The one-count charge reads: “That you Chigozie Oguadimma, sometime in September, 2018 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did distribute 20,000 liters of petroleum product (Automotive Gas Oil, diesel) without a licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act”.
He pleaded guilty to the one-count charge.
Both the prosecution counsel, Samuel Chime and the defense counsel, Eric Amadi agreed on the convict’s guilty plea.
In view of Oguadimma’s plea of guilt, Chime applied that he be convicted accordingly. However, Amadi, the defense counsel, sued for a light sentence.
Justice Obile convicted Oguadimma and sentenced him to two years imprisonment or to pay a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only.
The judge also ordered that the 20,000 liters of diesel be auctioned and the proceeds deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Account of the federal government.
Oguadimma’s journey to prison started when men of the Nigerian Army Anti-bunkering Operation Team intercepted him and a Mack truck with registration number: ZAR-997-ZC, loaded with 20,000 liters of suspected illegally refined diesel along Obigbo, Aba Road, Rivers State, sometime in September, 2018.
He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
The convict, had in his statement, claimed that the diesel was loaded from one of the authorized petroleum products depots and further presented a waybill: 20145334, but EFCC’s investigation showed that neither the diesel nor the waybill emanated from the petroleum product depot he claimed.