Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have begun an investigation of a Venezuelan and four Nigerians arrested by the Navy for suspected illegal oil bunkering activities.
The Venezuelan: Roderick Rivero and Nigerians: Oluwole Olaitan, Emmanuel Emeka Okeke, Olota Albert and Richard Asubi were arrested on June 20, 2022 by officers of the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Victory, in Calabar, Cross River state while onboard a vessel, MV Edidiong AJ, loaded with an unspecified quantity of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, AGO.
The suspects were handed over to the Uyo Command of the EFCC on Monday, August 1, 2022 for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Lieutenant Commodore, C. I. Ayogu, the Naval Hand-over Officer, while handing over the suspects to the EFCC, condemned the activities of oil thieves in the zone, stressing that, “the fight against crude oil theft is not for the Navy alone, but a fight for the generality of Nigerians, and I urge everyone to be on alert. The five crew members flying a Comoros flag were arrested by my men while they were on patrol” he said.
Receiving the arrested suspects and the accompanying exhibits, Assistant Superintendent of the EFCC, ASE Inainfe Young thanked the Navy for its synergy and trust in the EFCC. “Be rest assured that the Commission will make sure thorough investigation is carried out and if the suspects are found culpable, they will be charged to court and prosecuted diligently” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC today, August 2, 2022, secured the conviction of one Samuel Josiah before Justice Darius Khobo on one count charge of criminal impersonation.
The charge reads, “That you, Samuel Josiah (aka Katherine Sophia) sometime in November 2021 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did commit an offence to wit; cheating by impersonation wherein you falsely represented yourself as Katherina Sophia ( a female citizen of the United State of America) and in such assumed identity induced unsuspecting members of the public to part with $500 USD ( Five Hundred United States Dollars) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law”.
He pleaded guilty to the charge. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, N. Salele, urged the court to convict the defendant accordingly. Justice Khobo convicted and sentenced the defendant to 5 months imprisonment without an option of fine.
Josiah’s journey to prison began when he was arrested in a sting operation in the Gbagyi Villa axis of Kaduna, after intelligence reports linked him to a syndicate of internet fraudsters. Upon arrest, several incriminating materials were found on him.