Justice H.J.O. Oshomah of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State has committed one Mustapha Tijani to prison for oil theft.
The convict was prosecuted by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on one-count charge of dealing on petroleum product without appropriate licence, to which he pleaded guilty.
The count reads: “That you, Mustapha Tijani, being the driver on board Mack Tanker with Registration Number, ABUJA: ABC 260 ZU, on or about the 15th day of January, 2020 at LNG, Eastern Bypass, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of honorable court loaded illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil without authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4(1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 4(6) of the same Act.”
After a careful review of the case, Justice Oshoma convicted and sentenced the defendant to three months in prison, effective from July 6, 2020 date of arrest and remand in the custody of the prosecution.
Aside from the prison term, the judge ordered the forfeiture of the truck and its content to the federal government.
It could be recalled that officers of 6 Division, Nigerian Army on anti-bunkering operations on January 15, 2020, arrested the convict at LNG Eastern by-pass, Port Harcourt, alongside the Mack truck, laden with illegally sourced diesel, (Automotive Gas Oil, AGO) and handed them over to the commission for further investigation and prosecution.