The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 arraigned the trio of Bernard Efe Omoaiwua, Osahenruwen Osaguona and Osaro Arasowman before Justice Phoebe M. Ayua of the Federal High Court, Lokoja on a 3-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in crude oil.
The accused persons were arrested along the Lokoja-Abuja express way with three trucks of the product with no license or proper documentation by officers of Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army.
Upon this discovery, the trucks were impounded and the accused transferred to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.
Count one reads:
“That you Bernard Efe Omoaiwua, Osahenrunwen Osaguona, Osaro Arasowman and Tony Okundia (now at large), Aaron Idahosa (now at large), Blessed Goodluck (now at large), and Ali Egbunu (now at large) sometime between 31st of May 2014 at Osanseni Village, Lokoja-Abuja road within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Lokoja Division, Kogi State were arrested by Guards Brigade Nigeria Army with three trucks loaded with 33,000 Litres of illegally acquired crude oil from Niger Cat Yard, Warri in Delta State, did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: did without lawful authority or an appropriate license, deal in crude oil and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria”.
Another count reads:
“That you Osaro Arasowman sometimes between 31st day of May, 2014 at Osanseni village Lokoja-Abuja road within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Lokoja Division, Kogi State, was arrested by Guards Brigade Nigeria Army with three trucks loaded with 33,000 Litres of illegally acquired crude oil from Niger Cat Yard Warri, without lawful authority or an appropriate license deal in crude oil with a DAF 95 truck with registration number BKW 244 XA, carrying 33,000 Litres of black oil and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1(7) (a)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014”.
Upon the accused pleas, counsel to EFCC, Steve Odiase asked the court for a date to commence trial. However, the defence counsel, S. T Amodu told the court that, he had a pending application for the bail of the accused. He prayed to move it.
Odiase however objected. He argued that he needed time to respond formally.
Justice Ayua ordered the accused persons to be remanded in Koton-Karfe prison custody and adjourned the matter to May 26, 2015 for hearing of the bail application.