5 Filipinos and 4 Bangladeshis accused of
stealing Nigeria’s crude were sentenced by the
Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday to 20
years imprisonment each, with fine options of
N20m per person.
The Judge also ordered their vessel, MT Asteri,
to be forfeited to the Nigerian Government,
together with the crude oil on board.
The EFCC had alleged that on or about March
27, 2015 in Lagos the convicts conspired to
commit an offence involving dealing in
3423.097metric tons of crude oil without lawful
authority or appropriate license, contrary to
Section 1(19)(6) of the Miscellaneous Offence
Act, Cap M17.
It was also alleged that the suspect on the same
day and time stored 3,423. 097 metric tons of
crude oil in MT Asteris’ cargo tanks, and
thereby committed an offence contrary to
Section 4 of the Petroleum Act of the
Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The convicted Philippine nationals are:
Axel Joseph Gibo Jabone, Juanito Camireno
Infantado, Suarin Fernado Alave, Gatila Jaypee
Gadayan and Rolando Jose Commendador;
while the Bangladesh nationals are Md Zahirul
Islam, Islam Shahinul, Islam Rafiqul and
Shaikn Shibli Nomany.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges
against them, following which defence counsel
Femi Adegbite applied for their bail, which
was not opposed by the prosecution.
Prosecuting Counsel Rotimi Oyedepo called
seven witnesses and tendered many exhibits to
prove his case, while the suspects testified for
themselves in the rigorous trial.
Finding them guilty, Justice Buba described the
convicts as numbering among the saboteurs
who have turned Nigeria into the laughing
stock in the comity of Nations, warning that
people must begin to respect Nigeria and its
He sentenced each convict to five years on
each of the four counts, with an option of five
million Naira fine on each of them. While the
sentences are to run concurrently, the option
of five is not.
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