Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Oil theft: EFCC closes case against 11 Indians, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has closed its case against the 11 Indians, three Ghanaians and two Nigerians being prosecuted at the Federal High Court in Calabar for illegal oil bunkering.
The 16 suspects are being prosecuted by EFCC following their arrest on board MT Maro on July 22, 2014 by officials of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
After examining the last of the eight prosecution witnesses, Prosecuting counsel to EFCC, Mr. Ramiah Ikhanaede, who also tendered several documents that were admitted as exhibits, said he had closed his case.
But in opening their defence, counsel to the 16 suspects, immediately opted for a no-case submission.
Speaking on the development, counsel to the 11 Indians, Mr. Jerry Omoregie, said he took the position after reviewing the entries made by the prosecuting counsel.
Omoregie, who expressed hope that his position would be upheld, noted that the matter had experienced some delays over the period.
“We reviewed what the prosecution council have done so far and came to the conclusion that it is a no-case, although the court will rule on it. I took over the case as defence counsel to the 11 Indians on February 17, 2016 on the orders of Sterling Global Oil Resources, whose interest is to seek justice for the suspects,” he said.
Defence counsel to the three Ghanaians and two Nigerians, Mr. Abdul Muhammed, said the no-case submission was based on evidence they have on their records in the proceedings so far.
“You consider what you have on your records and as counsel, if you are convinced then you have to do what you need to do. This case has been on for about two years and as defence counsel I am aware of the records,” he said.
However, the prosecuting counsel to EFCC, Mr. Ramiah Ikhanaede, insisted that he would press for conviction.
“What they simply saying is that there is nothing against their clients. However, we will press for the conviction of suspected criminals. We are not just saying that they should be convicted alone, but it should serve as deterrent to those who may want to commit crime,” he said.
Presiding judge of the Federal High Court in Calabar, Justice Inyang Ekwo, however gave the defence counsel two days to file their no-case submission.
He thereafter adjourned the matter to June 14 and 16.




Punch

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments, advise and encouragement are always welcome.
We are here to serve you better.

Thanks for visiting!



Management