Nigerian court jails another oil thief Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 6, 2021

Justice A.T Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Mallami Babayo to one year imprisonment for conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.

Babayo was arraigned on Wednesday, June 26,  2019 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on a one-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products 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.

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The count charge read: “That you Mallami Babayo on or about the 21st of December, 2017 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did distribute petroleum products (AGO) conveyed in a truck with registration number YLA 692 XA 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”.

The defendant pleaded “guilty” to the one count charge when read to him. In view of this, prosecuting counsel, M.T Iko prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly. Defence counsel, A.B Abdullahi did not oppose the prosecution counsel’s prayer.

 Justice Mohammed thereafter convicted and sentenced the defendant to one (1) year imprisonment with an option of fine to the tune of One Hundred Thousand Naira (100,000) and ordered that the product conveyed in the truck be forfeited to the Federal Government. The judge also ordered that the truck involved in the case be returned to the owner.  

Babayo’s journey to the prison began when he was arrested by men of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt alongside a truck with registration number YLA 692 XA and loaded with un-specified  quantity of illegally refined, Automotive Gas Oil, AGO.  He was handed over to the EFCC for prosecution. 

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