16 oil criminals have been sentenced to life imprisonment after they were convicted by the Calabar Division of the Federal High Court, Vanguard reports.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Thursday, December 1 in Abuja which was signed by its spokesperson, Emmanuel Okeh.
The suspects were convicted of adulterating 100 tonnes of diesel and also ordered to forfeit their vessel MV ALEZZA LILAH which they used for the operation to the government.
The statement read: “The affected persons were arrested by the Bayelsa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps along Brass River on their way towards the sea in Bayelsa on a vessel MV ALEZZA LILAH”.
The suspects were charged for conspiracy and adulteration “which is contrary to sections 1(17) and (18) (a) and (1) of the Miscellanous Offences Act Cap, M17 LFN 2004 and punishable under the sections.”
Justice Inyang Ekwo convicted the 16 accused persons on all the charges and consequently sentenced them to life imprisonment.
He said: “Enough is enough, we must rise to the challenge of tackling this ugly phenomenon of vandalism and other related crimes; attacking our personnel will not deter us from fighting the scourge rather it makes us to be more rugged and dogged in the crusade.
”I therefore use this opportunity to warn all those in this illicit business to quit as the law is no respecter of anyone.”
He applauded the Federal High Court for the speedy judgement and hoped it served as deterrent to other oil criminals.