Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned nine foreign nationals and a vessel before a Federal High, Lagos over unlawful possession of crude oil.
Among the foreigners are five Filipinos: Axel Joseph Gibo Jabone, Juanito Camireno Infantado, Suarin Fernado Alave, Gatila Jaypee Gadayan and Rolando Jose Commendador and Bangladeshis’ Md Zahirul Islam, Islam Shahinul, Islam Rafiqul and Shaikn Shibli Nomany. The vessel docked along with them is MT Asteris.
They were accused of “on or about March 27, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, conspired among themselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 3423.097 metric tonnes of crude oil without lawful authority or appropriate license and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(19) (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 17 of the same Act.”
The accused persons’ arraignment, according to EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had on the same day and time within the jurisdiction of the court without license stored 3, 423. 097 metric tonnes of crude oil in MT Asteris’ cargo tanks marked 1C, 3C and 4C and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
They all pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge levelled against them.
After their pleas were taken, their counsel, Femi Adegbite, urged the court to grant them bail.
The application for bail was not opposed by the EFCC’s prosecutor.
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, granted them bail in the sum of N50million with one surety who must be a Nigerian.
The judge also ordered that the surety must provide evidence of means, and the accused persons must deposit their international passports and adjourned their trial till June 23, 2015.

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