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Navy Arrests 14 Suspects, Uncovers Illegal Refinery In Rivers

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The Nigerian Navy said its men have arrested 14 persons for their alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering in the Elem Krakama community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Also, the Navy said an illegal oil refining site with a capacity to produce over 9.6 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil popularity called diesel per day was uncovered.

The Navy added that in an operation led by the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, on Thursday, three wooden boats with a storage capacity of 70 metric tons was seized.

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Igbo told journalists that the suspects were siphoning crude from a tapped oil wellhead from the Oil Mining Lease (OML-18) operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the area.

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He said the wellhead was badly compromised by the suspected oil thieves.

Igbo, who expressed shock at the wide-scale economic sabotage going on in the location, noted that the site has 16 cooking pots with the capacity to contain 6,000 litres of diesel each while maintaining that the Navy will not relent in ensuring that illegal oil refining activities become a thing of the past.

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He stated, “This is Elem Krakama in Degema LGA of Rivers State. We have come here to ensure that this oil stealing will not continue.

“We have about 16 cooking pots and some of them contain about 6,00 litres. It is very huge, as you can see where they are tapping it from right from the oil wellhead.

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“It comes out the way water comes from the tap. We have made arrests, we arrested about 14 of them in the act of stealing the crude and also illegally refining this crude.

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“Behind me is oil well head 15 belonging to OML 18, of NNPCL. You can see a very big 14-inch hose connected illegally to this oil well head 15.

“They are transferring it to this big wooden boat also known as the Cotonou boat.

“The boats contain 70 metric tons of crude oil, the crude is still there they will connect it to the reservoirs through the 4-inch hose from there they will start cooking it.”

Continuing, the NHS Pathfinder boss said, “We have four of these wooden boats in this camp. The cooking pots also contain about 1.5 million AGO. This is not good for our country not good for the economy.”

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Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Over N12.18bn Properties Linked To Emefiele

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government properties valued at over N11.14bn and another N1.04 billion linked to the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order of permanent forfeiture after hearing an application filed and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through its counsel Chineye Okezie.

On June 5, 2024, The judge had upheld the anti-graft agency’s motion filed and argued by its counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo for a temporary forfeiture of the properties.

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Oyedepo informed the court that Emefiele was suspected of having bought the choice properties by proxy, with the proceeds of fraud.

The EFCC named two current and one former CBN staff as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Forfeiture of N11.14bn Property Linked To Emefiele

The trio, according to the affidavit filed in support of the application, are Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde a former CBN staff and others.

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The properties are mostly located in highbrow parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Justice Aneke ordered the EFCC to publish the order for interim forfeiture in a national newspaper for any interested party to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

The judge then adjourned for a hearing of the application for final forfeiture.

Upon resumption on June 21, no party appeared in court to contest the judge’s interim order and Chineye Okezie moved her application for the permanent forfeiture.

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After reading a 41-paragraph affidavit deposed to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Michael John Idoko, the 19 Exhibits attached, a Written Address signed by Okezie, and after hearing Okezie’s motion, Justice Aneke granted the application.

The properties were listed by the EFCC in two schedules, A and B.

The judge said: “Having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows: – that a final forfeiture order of this honourable court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule A herein which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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They include shops and apartments at Cadastral Zone Maitama and Wuse.

READ ALSO: Two Suspects Arrested For Stealing Car From Mosque During Juma’at Prayer

For Schedule B, Justice Aneke added: “That a final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule B herein which properties were traced to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The properties include lands and apartments which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun at a total value of N1.04 billion.

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According to the affidavit, Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde “used their positions and Influence as CBN staff to secure retail and Special allocation of Foreign Exchange to different companies in exchange for kickbacks.

“That Olubunmi Makinde is the link between Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo and the various companies applying for the purchase of foreign exchange.

“That Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo as staffs of the Central Bank of Nigeria has access to the bidding processes and bidding Data of companies who has applied for the approval of form Ms to the CBN through their various commercial banks.”

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Two Suspects Arrested For Stealing Car From Mosque During Juma’at Prayer

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Operatives of the Niger State Police Command have arrested two suspects for conspiracy and theft of a Toyota Corolla vehicle.

Spokesperson of the command, SP Wasiu Abiodun, who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, June 20, 2024, said the suspects stole the vehicle at Central Mosque area of Abuja during Juma’at Prayer.

According to the PPRO, the suspects were nabbed while trying to sell the stolen vehicle for N6.5m in Minna.

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“On 14/6/2024 at about 1840hrs, Police operatives attached to SCID, Minna arrested two suspects namely; Gwaza Bulus 41yrs of Zango-Kataf, Kaduna State
-Yahaya Amodu 45yrs of Kwakuti, Niger State,” the statement read.

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“The suspects were arrested at Sauka-Kahuta area of Minna with a white Toyota Corolla vehicle with Reg. No. ABC 72 NF suspected to be a stolen vehicle.

“During interrogation, Bulus narrated that he met one Daniel at Area 3 Abuja and they exchanged pleasantry having discovered that they were both brothers from Kaduna.

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“Subsequently, Daniel introduced him to one Abdul, and told Abdul that he needed a job, while Abdul said that he has a vehicle they could sell for him.

“Bulus further said that Abdul contacted him on May 31, and gave him an imitated vehicle key. He said that Abdul told him that the vehicle would be parked at Central Mosque area Abuja by the road during Juma’at Prayer with a good description. He said he went to the Central Mosque Area and drove the vehicle away.

“He confessed that he took the vehicle to Kwakuti in Niger State to meet Yahaya whom he met on social media as a vehicle dealer, and he left the vehicle for a while with Yahaya hoping that the vehicle could be sold quickly, but due to delay, he went back to Yahaya on June 14th while they decided to bring the vehicle to Minna for quick disposal.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arraigns Man For Tearing Its Investigation Letter

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“They were both arrested in the process of selling of the vehicle without any document and negotiating to sell the car at the rate of six million, five hundred thousand naira in Minna.

“However, the two suspects are under investigation in SCID Minna, while effort is ongoing to arrest the said Abdul and the case will be transferred to FCT Command for further investigation and prosecution.

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EFCC Arraigns Man For Tearing Its Investigation Letter

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The Gombe Zonal Directorate of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Usman Mallam for allegedly tearing the Commission’s official Investigation Activities’ letters and obstructing the Commission’s investigation before Justice TG Ringim of the Federal High Court sitting in Gombe, Gombe State.

Mallam, a desk officer in charge of responding to official correspondences in the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Gombe State, was arraigned on a one-count charge of willful obstruction of investigation activities and tearing official documents of the EFCC.

The lone charge against Mallam reads “that you, Usman Mallam on or about the 26th day of February 2024 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while the officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC were carrying out an investigation activity involving an alleged economic and financial crime, did willfully obstruct the said investigation by tearing the EFCC formal letters of investigation activities dated January 1, 2024, and February 21, 2024, respectively” and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 38 (1) and punishable under Section 38 (2) (a) and (b) of the Economic and financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act”.

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Upon arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the one count charge, prompting the prosecution counsel AM Labaran to say, “My Lord, the defendant has put himself to trial hence we shall be asking for a date for trial”.

However, counsel to the defendant, SS Usman said, “My Lord, we have a bail application dated July 11, 2024, we are asking the court to exercise its discretion and grant the defendant bail”

Justice Ringim thereafter granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) and one surety in like sum.

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The surety shall be a director in a government establishment or a private company with a capital worth not less than N10,000,000.

In addition to the conditions, the Registrar of the court should verify the identity of the surety and both the surety and the defendant shall submit two passport photographs to the court.

Justice Ringim remanded the defendant in Gombe State Correctional Service pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions and adjourned the case to July 9, 2024, for trial.

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