Crew members of MT Takoradi charged for alleged illegal oil bunkering
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on 4th October, charged a ship captain, Musa Mohammed and four of his crew members, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on a four-count charge of alleged illegal dealings in petroleum products.
The accused persons, Captain Musa Mohammed, Otuagoma Freeborn, James Onubi, Hassan Adekunle, Gabriel Edet Inyang and Patrick Chinedu were arrested on board a vessel MT Takoradi, with 942.200 litres of diesel without appropriate licence required under the Petroleum Act.
The 5th accused person, Gabriel Inyang, was, however, absent in court.
The matter is before Justice Okechukwu Okeke.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Thy were alleged to have, on January 26, 2012, been accosted aboard a vessel M.T Takoradi, within Nigerian territorial waters, with one million litres of diesel on board. The accused persons were unable to give a reasonable explanation about the source of the deisel and without any clearance by Nigerian Navy authorities in charge of authorising vessels conveying petroleum.
It was learnt that Navy personnel, upon suspicion that the vessel might have been involved in acts of illegal bunkering and economic sabotage, arrested and detained the vessel and crew on board.
The court, while adjourning the matter till October 11, 2012, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.