Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on Monday convicted and sentenced two oil bunkerers: Tony Ochonogo and Efe Alex to 5years imprisonment each without an option of fine.
The convicts were brought before the court on a four-count charge, bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products without a license, levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The court found them guilty , convicted and sentenced them accordingly.
Ochonogo was found guilty on counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 while Alex was convicted on counts 1 and 2. The sentence is to run concurrently.
Also, the judge ordered that the Truck, which was used by the convicts, to convey the illegally refined Automative Gas Oil, AGO, and the products conveyed, should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The convicts’ journey to prison started on 20 March, 2013 when officials of the Joint Task Force, OPERATION PULO SHIELD Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, while on patrol, arrested them together with a tanker truck, loaded with 33, 000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil. They presented a waybill purported to have been issued from Warri Refinery which was found to be false.