A Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos today affirmed the judgment of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which sentenced nine foreigners to five years’ imprisonment each with option N20 million each for stealing crude oil from Nigeria.
The three-man panel, comprising Justices Hussein Mukhtar (presiding), M. L. Shuaib and Frederick Oho, dismissed all the appeals for lack of merit.
Justice Oho, who delivered the judgment, resolved all the issues in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said, “All the issues are resolved against the appellants. The appeal is manifestly un-meritorious and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
On December 15, 2015 a Federal High Court in Lagos convicted the foreigners: five Filipinos and four Bangladeshi for stealing 3,423.097 metric tonnes of Petroleum from Nigeria.
The Presiding Judge Ibrahim Buba said it was the likes of the convicts, who were arrested by the Navy on March 27, 2015, that give Nigeria a bad name.
The convicts are Axel Jabone, Zahirul Islam, Juanito Infantado, Suarin Alave, Gatila Gadayan, Islam Shahinul, Islam Rafiqul, Shaikh Nomany and Rolando Comendador.
They were tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on four counts of illegal dealing in petroleum products.
EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo said the foreigners violated Section 1(19) (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, an offence punishable under Section 17 of the same Act.