EFCC arraigns businessmen for illegal importation of petrol

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, arraigned eight businessmen before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged unlawful importation of petroleum products.


The accused – Ademola Ogungbayi, Olabode Olaniran, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Jacob Padoun, Uche Okparaodi, and Happy Onyeogo were arraigned alongside their vessel MT Good Sucess, and their Company, Hepa Global Energy Ltd, on a five-count charge bordering on unlawful importation of products.


But all the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.


The prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the accused committed the offence on February 19.


He said that they were apprehended by Naval officers within the Nigerian territorial waters in Lagos, for having imported and stored about 1.46 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).


The accused were alleged to have imported same into the country, without the requisite licence as provided by the Petroleum Act.


The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 4, of the Petroleum Act, Cap 10 Laws of the Federation 2004.


It is also said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 17 and 19 (6) of the Miscellanous Offence Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation, 2004.


Following a bail application moved by defence counsel, trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu granted the accused bail in the sum of N5 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.


The judge adjourned the case to September 23 for trial.