Justice J. K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court siting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Beleme Wokoma to eight years imprisonment for illegally dealing in petroleum products.
Wokoma was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 3, 2021 and pleaded “guilty’ to one- count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum product contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act., Cap M17 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.
He was convicted and sentenced on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
The one- count charge read: “That you, Belema Wokoma, on or about the 8th day of September, 2019 at Borikiri, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without appreciate license dealt in petroleum product to wit Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) conveyed in a Toyota Camry with Registration Number AY 369 USL and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act., Cap M17 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act”.
In view of his plea , prosecution counsel, M .T Iko tendered some documents, called a witness who reviewed the facts of the case. he accordingly, asked the Court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged.
However, counsel to the defendant, C. S. Okeke, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, “for he is a first -time offender and have no previous criminal records”.
Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced the defendant to eight years imprisonment with an option of fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (100,000).
The Toyota Camry car involved in the crime is be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Court ordered its auctioning and the proceeds paid into the TSA account of the government.