Court jails five Indians for oil theft in Lagos | Ripples Nigeria
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Court jails five Indians for oil theft in Lagos

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A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has convicted and sentenced five Indians to one year imprisonment each for oil theft.

A statement by Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that the Lagos office of the commission secured the conviction in the court presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

The convicted Indians are Visal Guleria, Pranjal Singh, Rahul Pathania, Akash Kumar and Sahil Sharma.

The Indiana involves in the oil theft were arrested by officers of the Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Beecroft , Alaka, Lagos on January 31, 2020 aboard the vessel, MV Bount carrying 45.9 MT of Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, with no relevant documentation and subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.

The defendants were, on June 25, 2020, arraigned separately on a three-count charge of offence bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.

READ ALSO: Navy arrests Indian, 17 others for crude oil theft

“They initially pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby prompting their trial.

However, at the resumed sitting on December 9, 2020, the defendants all changed their pleas of not guilty to guilty.

“In view of this, the prosecution counsel, U.U. Buhari, reviewed the facts of the matter and urged the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

“Justice Aikawa, after listening to the allocutus of the defence counsel, convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment on each count, which will run concurrently from the date of their arrest,” the statement read.

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