The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned five persons on 55-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and money laundering.
According to the commission’s spokesman, Tony Orilade in a statement, they were arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State.
The defendants were alleged to have sometimes in July 2017 at Warri, conspired amongst themselves to launder the aggregate sum of N9,150,000 (Nine Million, One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) which represents the price of product lifted at Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd Depot/Tank Farm located at Ifiekporo, Ibeju- Warri by Kenosha Oil and Gas Ltd.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Bennet Chukwuma Ihuoma, Jar Jonathan, Enabulele Kelvin, Obinna Igbozuruike and Sunday Eze on or about the 27th day of July, 2017 at Warri within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst yourselves to launder the aggregate sum of Nine Million, One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N9,150,000) only which represents the price of product lifted at Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd Depot/Tank Farm located at Ifiekporo, Ibeju- Warri by Kenosha Oil and Gas Ltd which funds you knew or reasonably ought to have known form part of your unlawful Act to wit: stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of same Act.”
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Upon their plea, counsel for the EFCC, I. Melody prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and for the defendants to be remanded in prison.
Defence counsel, T. Jatto informed the court of a motion for bail filed before the court and that he has also served the prosecution.
However, Melody told the court that she was only served last week Friday, June 28, 2019, and so needed time to respond to the application.
Justice Nwite, thereafter, adjourned the matter to September 9, 2019 for ruling on bail application and October 24, 2019 for commencement of trial.
The trial judge also ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison pending the determination of their bail.
Packaged by Emmanuel Okafor