Pipeline vandalism: Absence of judge stalls trial of 11 fishermen

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday fixed July 9 for the continuation of the trial of 11 fishermen, charged with pipeline vandalism.
The case, the trial of which was fixed for June 3, could not go on due to the absence of the trial Judge, Justice Musa Kurya.
The judge was said to be away at a workshop. A new date, July 9, has now been scheduled for the continuation of the trial.
The accused are Sidi Egbayelo (29), Sunday Shadrach (39), Edem Okon (30), Godwin Kofa (28), Rosemon Neito (30), Ejona Kpamkpam (23), and Moses Victor (28).
Others are Chris Sunday (29), Peter Gay (21), Remo Uchugwu (23), and Mike Sabato (29).
They were arraigned on Feb. 7 on a four-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, stealing, vandalism, and unlawful possession of petroleum products.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge. Kurya had then granted them bail in the sum of N2 million each, with two sureties in like sum.
The Prosecutor, Justin Enang, had told the court that the accused were apprehended by a team of the policemen on Dec. 21, 2012.
He said that the accused were apprehended at about 1:00 p.m. on the day, at Atlas Cove, Lagos.
According to the prosecutor, 220 drums of petrol valued at N5.3 million, were recovered from the accused.
Enang also alleged that the products were illegally obtained from a vandalised pipeline in the area.
He said that the offence contravened Sections 390 and 516 of the Criminal Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as well as Section 7(a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004.
Stealing attracts a term of imprisonment of not less than three years– upon conviction.

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