A Lokoja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday remanded a 23-year-old man, Abubakar Ibrahim, in prison for alleged illegal possession of 33,000 litres of crude oil. Chief Magistrate Levi Animoku, who gave the order in his ruling, said the offence was grievous as it touched on the economy of the country.
Animoku said the penalty for the offence was high and so was the propensity for the accused to elope justice if granted bail.
“The presumption of innocence guaranteed the accused notwithstanding, I am not convinced to admit him to bail.
“Consequently, the accused shall be remanded at the Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe and the case adjourned till Nov. 17 for mention,” he declared.
The Prosecuting counsel, Musa Jubril, of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, told the court that Ibrahim was arrested by troops of the Nigerian Army.
Jubril said that the troops during “Operation Iron Fence” on Lokoja-Koton-Karfe-Girinya Road in Kogi Local Government at about 1.30 a.m. on Aug. 26, arrested the accused with 33,000 litres of crude oil.
He said the accused without lawful authority did conspired with two others now at large to “illegally steal, posses and deal in crude oil of about 33,000 litres”.
The prosecutor said dealing in Petroleum Product Without Lawful Authority contravened section 1 (17)(a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17 of the Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.