Justice Ibrahim Buba of Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos today convicted twenty persons for illegal dealing and storage of petroleum products. The convicts are Captain Daniel Lebile, Ala Ibanibo, Wole Ajayi, Adesunloye Fani-Kayode, Michael Mgbanwa, Segun Ekundemi, Johnson Mashebinu, Ndidi Benjamin, Bright Nwaezuoke, Blessing Omoviye and Kayode Ireti.
Others Chuks Isiwepkweni, Friday Nchikpa, Peter Bayo, Ubom Amos, Zuopamo Embiowei, Olabamerun Owolemi, Adams Husseini, Ebisingha Timmy and Godwin Oputeh, MV Long Island and their companies Afa Global Impex Services Limited and GFL Marine Service Limited.
One of the charges read, “that you, MV Long Island , AFA Global Impex Services Limited, GFL Marine Services Limited, Ala Atubokiki Ibanibo, Wole Ajayi, Adesunloye Alexander, Fani Kayode, Captain Daniel Lebile, Micheal Mgbanwa, Segun Ekundemi, Joghnson Mashebinu, Ndidi Benjamin, Bright Nwaezuoke, Blessing Omoviye, Kayode Biboye Ireti, Chuks Isiwepkweni, Friday Nchikpa, Peter Bayo, Ubom Amos , Zuopamo Embiowei, Olabamerun Owolemi, Adams Husseini, Ebisingha Timmy, Godwin Oputeh, Ebimie Norwigeh (Still at large) and Olabamerin Damilola Smart (now at large) on or about the 2nd day of December 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority or appropriate license contrary to Section 19(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and punishable under the same Act”.
They have pleaded not guilty. In the course of trial, the prosecution called four witnesses.
In his judgment, Justice Buba held that the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt. He therefore sentenced the convicts to two years imprisonment on each of the three counts, starting from December 2, 2014, when the convicts were arrested with an option of N200, 000.00k (Two hundred thousand naira) fine for each count.
The convicts are to forfeit all the seized vessels, cargoes and properties to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while the jail terms will run concurrently.