After 15 months in detention by the Nigerian Navy, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday morning arraigned Captain Dada Niyi Labinjo before a Federal High Court, Lagos.
Labinjo was arraigned along with 14 others before justice Muslim Hassan on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and dealing in petroleum products without licence.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants namely Captain Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, Segun Sahiyu, Ogunmoyero Oluwaseun Eric, Akpan Friday Itoro, Mr. Richard, Captain Felix, Captain Jude, Engineer Teddy, Mr. Michael, a vessel, MT Juko, and others conspired to commit the alleged illegal act.
EFCC counsel Mrs. Oluwakemi Yemi-Makinde, told the court that the defendants conspired among themselves between August and October 2018 to deal in Automobile Gas Oil (diesel), without the appropriate licence.
According to the EFCC, the defendants committed the offence within the Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.
The prosecution said they acted contrary to sections 3(6) and 1((19)(a)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004, and were liable to be punished under Section 1(17) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The team of defence counsels including Jerry Omoregie, Kolawole Salami, Odo R.U. and A. Aruwayo told the court that Mrs. Bola Labinjo, Abaka, Benjamin and Yakubu were arraigned in August on the same allegations and granted bail by Justice Chuka Obiozor.
They prayed the judge to admit the defendants to bail on the same terms.
Justice Hassan admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety each in like sum, among other conditions.
The court was informed that Labinjo had been in underground cell for over 15 months.
Justice Hassan also granted Labinjo bail on the terms and conditions earlier set for his co-defendants by Justice Obiozor and asked that other defendants should continue on existing bail conditions.
Justice Hassan also ordered that the bail conditions must be perfected within 15 days, failure of which the defendant will be taken to prison.
He adjourned the case to the February 5, 2020.