A suspected oil thief, Mallam Julius Obi has been remanded in the Port Harcourt Custodial Centre pending the perfection of a N10million bail granted him by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.
Obi was arraigned on April 24 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal office before Justice H.I.O Oshomah of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt on one count charge bordering on illegal dealing in Petroleum Product without license. The alleged offence is contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act.
The charge reads, “That you Mallam Julius Obi on or about the 14th day of March, 2020 in Erahwa Community, in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourble Court without appropriate license dealt in petroleum product to wit: crude oil and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
In view of His plea, the prosecution counsel M.T. Iko prayed the court to remand the defendant in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre. However, defense counsel, O.E. Keri urged the court to consider the bail application of the defendant pending before it and grant him bail.
Justice Oshomah granted the defendant bail in the sum of Ten Million Naira (N 10,000,000) with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a Civil Servant or a Plublic Offficer who must file an affidavit of means and their resident status verified.
The court allowed the defendant’s cousin who was in court to stand as the second surety and ordered that Obi be remanded in Port Harcourt Custodial Centre, pending the perfection of his bail terms.
The matter was adjourned till the 8th and 9th June, 2020 for commencement trial.
The defendant was arrested sometime in March 14, 2020 by officers of 222 Battalion Operation Delta Safe who were on Anti-bunkering patrol around Erahwa Community in Isoko Local Government Area of Delta State, where he allegedly owned and runs three illegal oil refineries.
The defendant was arrested together with a Mitsubishi black Jeep with registration number PF 429 SPY.