Justice S. D. Pam of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced, Abdullahi Umar to two years imprisonment for illegally dealing in petroleum products without appropriate license.
Umar was convicted on Tuesday January 18, 2022 after pleading “guilty” to a one-count charge preferred against him by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The one count charge read: “That you Abdullahi Umar being the driver on board Axor Tanker with registration number: ENU 952 ZE on or about the 7th October, 2021 at Okporowo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority dealt in petroleum product, to wit: 15,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) (ii) of the same Act”
He pleaded “guilty” when the charge was read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel M. T. Iko, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
Counsel to the defendant, A.S. W. Amadi, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, ”for he is a first-time offender with no previous criminal records”.
Justice Pam convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment in a Correctional Centre, with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira only (N500,000.00) payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federation. He ordered that the 15,000 litres of illegally- refined petroleum product, Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO) arrested alongside the Truck with registration number: ENU 952 ZE be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and sold by the Secretary of the EFCC, or any other person designated by him. The proceeds of the sale should be paid into the EFCC’s Recovery Account domiciled with the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN). He also released the Truck to its owner.
The judge ordered the convict to depose to an affidavit of good behaviour before the court.
Umar started the journey to prison when he was arrested by officers and men of 6 Division, Nigeria Army on October 7, 2021 around Okporowo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State for illegal dealing in petroleum products. He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC alongside the Truck, for more investigation and possible prosecution.