A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday sentenced one Sa’adu Isa to two years’ imprisonment for dealing in petroleum products without a licence. Isa was convicted after pleading guilty to a one count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products, contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The convict was initially arraigned before Justice E. A. Obile by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The charge read, “That you, Sa’adu Isa, and others unknown, on or about January 20, 2021, at Eleme, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without lawful authority or a licence to deal in petroleum products, had in your possession 40,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil in a Howo tanker truck with registration number, Kano TNR 02 XT, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable thereunder.”
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, read, “Based on Isa’s guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, S.M.H. Ibekwute, asked the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.” But the defence counsel, M.M. Suleiman, asked for leniency “because the convict is a first offender, father of two children and breadwinner of his family.”
Delivering his judgment, Justice Obile found Isa guilty and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment with an option of fine of N250,000. The judge instructed that the petroleum products be sold under the supervision of the deputy chief registrar of the court and the proceeds paid into the government’s Treasury Single Account.