Justice E. A Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Sa’adu Isa to two years imprisonment for illegal dealing in petroleum products without a requisite license.
He was convicted on Tuesday, 2 February, 2021 after pleading “guilty” to one- count amended charge, following his arraignment by the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The charge borders on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products, contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same Act.
The charge read, “That you Sa’adu Isa and others unknown on or about the 20th day of January, 2020 at Eleme, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority or license to deal in petroleum products, had in your possession Forty Thousand Litres (40, 000 Litres) of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in a Howo Tanker Truck with registration number Kano TNR 02 XT thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable thereunder”.
Based on Isa’s “guilty” plea, prosecuting counsel, S.M.H. Ibekwute prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly. However, defence counsel, M.M. Suleiman sued for leniency “because the convict is a first offender and also a father of two children and a breadwinner of his family”
In his judgment, Justice Obile found Isa guilty as charged and convicted and sentenced him to two years imprisonment, with an option of fine of N250,000.
He also ordered that the illegal petroleum products be sold under the supervision of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court and the proceeds paid into the government’s TSA Account.