Tuesday, 15 March 2016

EFCC Docks Two Company Executives for Oil Theft

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday March 14, 2016 arraigned Noel Akpan (Managing Director of Digie Global Marine Service Limited), Emmanuel Ndubuisi Morah (Managing Director of Rocky Oil & Gas Services Limited) and a Vessel (MT Europoort) before Justice H. A. Nganjiwa on a 3-count charge bordering on Conspiracy and Illegal dealing in Petroleum Product.

The accused persons were arrested on June 2, 2015 by officials of Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation PULO SHIELD Yenagoa, while on routine patrol. The vessel was laden with about 15,000 metric tones of petroleum product suspected to be AGO, was intercepted at Forupa Waterways, Bayelsa State.

The crew on board the vessel had no valid clearance to sail in the territorial waters of Nigeria and there was no document whatsoever to cover the voyage, transaction and the vessel.


The suspects and the vessel,  were handed over to EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution.

Count one reads: “that you Noel Akpan being the Managing Director of Digie Global Marine Services Limited, Emmanuel Ndubuisi Morah being the Managing Director of Rocky Oil & Gas Services Limited and the crew members aboard MT EUROPOORT with others now at large on or about the 2nd day of June, 2015 around Forupa Waterways in Bayelsa State within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did conspire  among yourselves to commit a felony to wit; Dealing in Petroleum Product contrary to Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act”.

Count two reads, “That you Noel Akpan being the Managing Director of Digie Global Marine Services Limited, Emmanuel Ndubuisi Morah being the Managing Director of Rocky Oil & Gas Services Limited and the crew members aboard MT EUROPOORT with others now at large on or about the 2nd day of June, 2015 around Forupa Waterways in Bayelsa State within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did without authority deal in petroleum product to with 1,500 metric tones of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) bunkered into MT EUROPOORT   and thereby committed and offence Contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act”.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, J. N. Dogonyaro, asked for a date to commence trial. However, the defense counsel, S. A. Somiari, prayed the court to admit the defendants to bail.

Justice Nganjiwa granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) each with 2 sureties each in like sum. One of the sureties must be civil servant with grade level 12 and above while the second surety must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court. The sureties must be recommended by the defense counsel and provide 3 years tax clearance with a written undertaken to produce the defendants throughout the trial.

The matter was adjourned to May 17, 2016 for trial while the defendants were remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail terms.

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