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Court Remands Vessel, Crew Members For Unlawful Dealing In AGO

Justice Ridwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered the remand of a vessel, MT Vine, and its six-man crew in the custody of the Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly dealing in Automated Gas Oil (AGO) without lawful authority.

This followed their arraignment on Thursday by the anti-graft agency.

The crew members arraigned alongside MT Vine were Okpene Peter, Lateef Akin, Sarumi Evan, Adams Akeem, Obodo Cosmos and Onipede Kayode. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The EFCC, in the four-count charges, accused them of conspiring among themselves to lift and distribute 1,080 metric tons of AGO without having the proper license to do so.

The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the men committed the offense on June 12, 2017, adding that they acted contrary to and were liable to be punished under sections 17 and 19(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

According to Mr. Oyedepo, they also violated Section 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 for allegedly storing the 1,080 metric tons of AGO in MT Vine’s cargo tanks without the appropriate license.

Justice Aikawa adjourned till October 6 to rule on their bail applications and continuation of trial.

Similarly, another vessel, MV Shirley, was also arraigned alongside its owner, Sagwe International Limited, and one Abednego Ogede for allegedly dealing in 145,000 liters of petroleum products without lawful authority.

MV Shirley and the others were arraigned on four counts before the same judge.

Mr. Oyedepo said the defendants committed the offense on April 19, 2017.

He said they also violated the same laws as the first set of accused persons.

Federal High Court of LagosThe Punch