Bunkering: We Have No Case To Answer, 7 Fishermen Tell Court



Seven fishermen currently facing trial before a Federal High Court, Lagos on two counts charge of conspiracy and attempt to deal in petroleum product without lawful authority today asked the court to dismiss the charge against them.

The seven fishermen are; Sewe Peter; Gbekpo Oke; Tito Seraphen; Didi Deudone; Axipke Ajimon; Dege Semede and Videgen Remi.

They were arraigned before Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, sometimes in December 2017, by the Lagos Division of the Nigerian Security and Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the two counts charge bothering on illegal oil bunkering.

The fishermen, who are Beninios, in their  no-case-submission filed and argued today by their lawyer, Mr McAnthony Aikharialea, averred  that the prosecution has not been able to established or link them to the alleged charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the defendants’ counsel, Aikharialea, told the court that his clients have an issue which they want the court to resolve in their favour.

Aikharialea, told the court that his submission is premised on the 1999 Constitution which states that ‘it is unfair to hold an individual based on the offence they did not commit’.

The defendant’s lawyer also argued that since the commencement of the trial of the case, the prosecution has failed to lead evidence or create facts and circumstance that the court could infer or make inference of the alleged offence.

He added that the prosecution and its witnesses have no cogent basis of arrest, but by mere suspicion which has no colour or reckoning in the country’s law.

Aikharialea, therefore urged the court to uphold his clients’ no-case-submission, and discharge his clients of the alleged charge and dismiss the charge equally.

Responding, NSCDC lawyer, Mrs. Ezeli Rita, said she has filed a written address to the fishermen’s no-case-submission, which she equally adopted.

Meanwhile, Justice Rabiu-Shagari after listening to submission from both parties adjourned the matter till June 25, for ruling.



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