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Court Acquits Man For Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering


22/08/2008

A Port Harcourt chief magistrate's court has discharged and acquitted one Ifeanyi Idigo, 35, accused of illegal oil bunkering for lack of evidence. The presiding magistrate, Mr Leba Adookor, gave the judgment when the matter came up for hearing in Port Harcourt.

He said there was no tangible evidence before him that linked Idigo with the offence. He said after listening to the testimony of the police officer who investigated the matter, it was not necessary to detain him any further. ``In view of the evidence of the police which exonerated you from the offence, my court cannot continue to keep you in custody", Adookor stated.

Earlier, the officer that investigated the case, Ins. Ukah Arauah, had told the court that after investigations, the police was unable to uncover any link between the accused and the offence. Arauah said: ``I went to the scene of the alleged crime at Ase Ndoni and saw a boat loaded with empty drums and no petroleum product in them.

"I also went to the military camp at Bori, where I spoke to an officer that handled the matter and he confirmed that the suspect was not caught with anything.'' The Police prosecutor, Ins. Jonathan Ekamadu, had on June 6, 2008 arraigned Idigo on one count charge of unlawfully conveying without license, a vessel loaded with petroleum products.

Ekamadu who claimed that the suspect committed the offence on May 10, 2008 at Ase Ndoni water-way of Rivers State stated that his act contravened section 1 (17) (B) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act.

The freed suspect in a reaction thanked God for saving his life, adding ``members of security agencies almost maltreated me to death on the day I was wrongfully caught.'' Idigo, who said he is married with two children added that he was on his way to visit a relative when some youths from Ase Ndoni caught him and handed him over to security men.

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