Anti-graft Agency Docks Four Over Illegal Refineries …Bankers Too

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned the quartet of Felix Nwosu, Sadau Isa, Aliyu Hamza Hassan and Usman Nuhu on a four count charge of conspiracy, illegal dealing and refining of petroleum products, before Justice E. S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The suspects, who were denied bail by the judge, were alleged to be illegal operators of refineries which have a capacity of thirty three thousand litres located at Ohaobu-Ndoki village in Ukanagu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.

When the charges were read to the suspects, they pleaded not guilty to the charges necessitating the defense Counsel, B.B. Mfon, to apply for their bail. But the Judge turned down the bail application, on the grounds that he intended to conclude the case as quickly as possible. He therefore adjourned the proceedings to April 27th, 2012 for continuation of trial, and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.

It would be recalled that officers of the State Security Service, SSS, arrested the accused persons on March 2nd, 2012, at Ukanagu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, along with three others: Sunday Udedike, Yusuf Lawal and Abdullahi Haruna, who are presently at large.

At the time of their arrest, a 33,000 litres capacity Iveco Turbo Star Truck loaded with automotive gas oil, 33,000 litres capacity DAF 85CA Truck loaded with crude oil, two pumping machines, two barges, three speed boat engines and the Illegal refinery of an estimated 33,000 litres capacity and operational installations which had been operational for the last twelve months.

The illegal refinery is located close to a waterway through which illicit crude oil from barges can be easily siphoned into storage tanks for refining.

In another development, Commission has arraigned two bankers at a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on a four count charge bordering on non-disclosure of a customer’s address owing to their failure to fully apply the mandatory Know-Your-Customer, KYC, directive before opening an account for the customer.  The bankers:  Mrs. Makanjuola Feyisayo and Kanu-Okoro Ugonna were arraigned before Justice Akanbi.

While taking their pleas, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The defense team led by I.B. Atiyegoba immediately applied for bail for the accused persons and the prosecuting counsel, A. A. Arimoro did not object.

The presiding judge granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) each and one surety in like sum. The case has been adjourned to May 2nd, 2012 for commencement of trial.

The two bankers ran into trouble when a petitioner alleged that one Yusuf Sunday Alibi defrauded him to the tune of N2, 440,000 (Two million four hundred and forty thousand naira). He further added that he paid the said amount in five instalments into the bank account of the said Alibi who is presently at large, and all effort to locate him proved abortive because the address he filled in his account opening document was conjured and therefore could not be traced. The bankers failed in their duty to enforce the KYC directive by not requesting for a recent utility bill from the run-away Alabi before opening the account for him.

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