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A man identified as Clinton Onye has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by a federal high court for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
Justice M.L Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State delivered the judgment today.
The judge however gave Clinton the option of paying a fine of N300, 000.
Clinton Onye was convicted following his arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was charged with two counts of conspiracy to deal in petroleum products, contrary to Section 17(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable thereunder.
One of the counts read:
‘That you, Clinton Onye, and one Okoro, (surname unknown and currently at large), on 19th day of November 2019, at Eleme Alimini Road, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority or license to deal in petroleum products, had in your possession, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Five( 875) liters of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in a Sky-blue Volvo 240 Car, with registration number: Lagos BF 573 EKY and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 17(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable thereunder’.
In a rather surprising move, he pleaded ‘guilty‘ to the charge when it was read to him.
Based on Onye’s plea, prosecuting counsel, S.M.H Ibekwute prayed the court to sentence him accordingly.
However, defense counsel, B. J.O Ekowo pleaded for leniency, assuring the Court that he had become remorseful.
The convict was arrested by the Anti- Bunkering Team of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt and handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
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