Justice I.M. Sani of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Ngwa Amaechi Raphael to six months imprisonment for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The defendant was prosecuted by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on one-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum product without appropriate licence.
The convict pleaded ” guilty” after the charge was read to him.
The count reads: “That you Ngwa Amaechi Raphael on or about the 26th day of December, 2019, around Rumuigbo, in Port Harcourt ,Rivers state, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court did deal in petroleum product, Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO) which is not of good quality and being transported in truck with the registration number ENU 69 ZH, and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 1(18) (a) (i) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act M17 Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act 2007 and punishable under Section 1(18) (a) (i) of the same Act”.
In view of the plea by the defendant, prosecuting counsel, K. W Chukwuma-Eneh prayed the court to convict him accordingly, but counsel to the defendant, D.D. Ayuba who did not oppose the prayer of the prosecution, appealed to the court for leniency in the exercise of its discretion; noting that the convict was a first a time offender and quite remorseful.
Justice Sani, consequently convicted and sentenced Amaechi to six months imprisonment with an option of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300, 000.00) fine.
Amaechi was arrested for illegal dealing in petroleum products without a license by officers of 6 Division Nigerian Army and his truck with registration number ENU 69 ZH impounded during an anti-bunkering operation at Rumuigbo Port Harcourt . The matter was later handed over the Commission for further investigation.
Amaechi could neither produce the owner of the truck nor the license that authorized him to deal in petroleum products.