A federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 convicted 20 persons for illegal dealing and storage of petroleum products.
The oil thieves, convicted by Justice Ibrahim Buba, are Captain Daniel Lebile, Ala Ibanibo, Wole Ajayi, Adesunloye Fani-Kayode, Michael Mgbanwa, Segun Ekundemi, Johnson Mashebinu, Ndidi Benjamin, Bright Nwaezuoke, Blessing Omoviye and Kayode Ireti.
Others are Chuks Isiwepkweni, Friday Nchikpa, Peter Bayo, Ubom Amos, Zuopamo Embiowei, Olabamerun Owolemi, Adams Husseini, Ebisingha Timmy and Godwin Oputeh, MV Long Island and their companies Afa Global Impex Services Limited and GFL Marine Service Limited.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence involving dealing with petrol products without lawful authority or appropriate license contrary to section 19 (6) of Miscellaneous Offenses Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and punishable under the same act.
The court accused them of committing the crime on or about the 2nd day of December 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. In the course of trial, the prosecution called four witnesses.
In his judgment, Justice Buba held that the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt.
He, therefore, sentenced the convicts to two years imprisonment on each of the three counts, starting from December 2, 2014, when the convicts were arrested with an option of N200, 000 fine for each count.
The convicts are to forfeit all the seized vessels, cargoes and properties to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while the jail terms will run concurrently.