Justice P. M. Ayuba of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced an oil truck driver: Samuel Obameiye to two years imprisonment for transportation of illegal petroleum products.
He was jailed on Friday, July 16, 2021 after pleading guilty to one- count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products upon his arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The lone count charge read: “That you Samuel Obameiye being the Driver on board a tipper truck with registration MUS 282 XU, on or about the 27th April, 2018 along Port Harcourt-Aba express road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in petroleum products to wit: loaded and transporting Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which was not of quality expected of such product and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (18) (a) Punishable Under Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2004”.
He pleaded “guilty” to the charge preferred against him.
In view of the plea, prosecuting counsel, F. C. Obinwa, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly. However, counsel to the defendant, D. D. Ayuba prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendant “for he a first-time offender having no previous criminal records”.
Justicpe Ayuba convicted and sentenced Obameiye to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250, 000.00) payable into the Federal Government Account. He also ordered the truck involved in the offence to be released to its owner and the 21 drums of illegally- refined AGO, arrested with the convict, sounded and sold by the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court in conjunction with EFCC officials.
Obameiye’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when he was handed over to the EFCC by the 6 Division, Nigerian Army upon his arrest by the anti- bunkering team of the Division. He was arrested alongside a tipper truck with registration number MUS 282 XU loaded with twenty one (21) drums of illegally refined petroleum product.