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Oil thief bags 3-yr jail term in Owerri

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on May 5, secured the conviction of Ifeanyichukwu Williams, who was being prosecuted before Justice O. O. Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Owerri, Imo State on a 2-count charge bordering on conspiracy, and dealing in petroleum product without appropriate license, contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

Ifeanyichukwu was arrested by men of the 34 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Owerri, on April 8, 2012 along Owerri-Onisha Road, Imo State, with a Volvo Truck with registration number: XN939FST, loaded with 42 drums of petroleum product without appropriate license. He was subsequently handed over to EFCC for prosecution.

One of the charges read: “That you Ifeanyichukwu Williams on or about the 8th day of April 2012 along Owerri-Onisha Road, Imo State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did without lawful authority use a Volvo truck with registration number XN939FST to illegally deal in petroleum product by conveying same in 42 drums and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1(17)(a)(b) of the same Act.”

He was first arraigned in 2012 and pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to him.

At the resumed trial, Monday May 4, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

Shortly before the sentencing, Tuesday, May 5, the defence counsel, M. L. Amiamum, pleaded for justice to be tempered with mercy for his client. Justice Oguntoyinbo subsequently sentenced the accused to three years imprisonment, just as he ordered the convict to forfeit the petroleum product to the EFCC, while the truck is released to him.

The sentence is to run concurrently from the date of his arrest.

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