EFCC Arraigns Gambian, Senegale For Illegal Oil Deal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday brought two foreigners and a Nigerian before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly dealing in 300 metric tonnes of diesel, without lawful authority.

The accused are: a Gambian, Baboucar Jallow, a Senegalese, Ndiaga Ba, and a Nigerian, Abel Bassey.

They were arraigned alongside their vessel, MT Wolof, on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and unlawful dealing in petroleum products.EFCC Prosecutor Ekene Iheanacho said the accused and one Japcco Nigeria Ltd, still at large, committed the offences sometime in June.

He said that the accused unlawfully dealt in 300 metric tonnes of petroleum products.

Iheanacho said that the offences contravened Section 1 (17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Counsel to the accused, Adegboyega Adetunji, urged the court to admit them to bail.

Justice Mohammed Idris, however, rejected the bail application and ordered that they be remanded in prison, pending the conclusion of trial.

The judge held that “I have read all the processes filed in this case and the submission of counsel on both sides. I cannot find any clear way in granting this application for bail.

“There is no evidence that the defendants are resident within the jurisdiction of this court. Therefore, bail is refused; accelerated hearing of this case is hereby ordered.’’

The judge adjourned the case until Dec. 13, for commencement of trial.