25 October 2011
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday secured the conviction and sentencing of two Ghanaians and seven Nigerians to 810 years imprisonment by an Asaba Federal High Court for conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.
A statement from the Commission’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi Monday gave the names of the two Ghanaians as Nelson Seanehia and Teko Peter, while their Nigerian counterparts are: Felix Ogogo, Augustine Elomofe, Yakubu Otun, Lucky Tonwei, Sunday Apoh, Segun Agbeyegbe and Felix Mogbeyiteren.
The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba who sentenced each of the accused to 10 years imprisonment on each of the nine-count charge also ordered the forfeiture of their vessel, MT TROICA which was used for the illegal business.
It would be recalled that the EFCC, had on June 29, 2010 arraigned the (now) convicted persons for conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products. The accused persons were arrested aboard a vessel called MT TROICA. They were nabbed on May 1, 2010, at
. Forcados Bay
Prior to their arraignment, operatives of the EFCC had carried out detailed investigations which revealed that the vessel, MT TROICA was originally registered in Panama as ‘LUCIA 1’.According to what was contained in the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, the vessel is still registered as LUCIA 1 and no other documentation to show that LUCIA 1 was authorized to be changed to MT TROICA.
Investigations also showed that the Ghanaians came into the country illegally and therefore, had no permission to sail in the Nigerian waters with a vessel that had no clearance, waybill or any document empowering it to transport petroleum products. At the time of arrest, the vessel MT TROICA owned by a certain Captain Harris, a Greek National, was already loaded with 83 metric tonnes of petroleum products.