The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, 3rd July, 2012, arraigned Usman Gwoza and Usman Sani before Justice Tijani Abubakar of the Federal High Court II, Port Harcourt, on a three count charge of forgery, conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products. One of the charges read:“That you Usman Gwoza and Sani Usman on or about the 5th day of February 2011, along Port Harcourt/Aba Express way near Iriebe park, Port Harcourt in Rivers State within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did conspire with others now at large to commit felony to wit: Dealing in Petroleum Product and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act 2007 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act”.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty on all count.
Defence counsel, A. A. Mshelia urged the court to admit the accused persons to bail. Counsel to EFCC, O. B. Akinsola did not object to the oral bail application by the defence, She however asked the court to give the accused persons conditions that will ensure that they do not jump bail.
The presiding Judge, Justice Abubakar granted the accused persons bail in the sum of two million naira and one surety in like sum, Each of the surety must possess landed property in Port Harcourt, and they must s depose to an affidavit of means.
The accused persons are to remain in prison custody until they perfect their bail conditions. The case was adjourned to 5th November, 2012 for hearing.
The accused persons were arrested on 5th February, 2010 by officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, in a DAF Tanker with Registration No. XH 923 ABC conveying 33,000 litres of petroleum product suspected to be adulterated automotive gas oil, AGO.
All the documents recovered from the accused persons at the time of their arrest, including an Oando Plc invoice and waybill, were forged.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
6th July, 2012.