A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed April 17 for the trial of 11 fishermen charged with vandalisation of an oil pipeline belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Justice Musa Kurya fixed the date yesterday, after the Nigerian Prisons Service failed to produce the accused in court.
A prison warder told the court that he only realised that the case was due for trial when he arrived the court.
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 are in court on a four-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, vandalism and unlawful possession of petroleum products.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that the accused were arraigned on Feb. 7 and had all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Each of them was granted bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in like sum.
The accused are still remanded because they are yet to perfect their bail conditions.
The prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang had told the court that the accused were apprehended by a police team on Dec. 21, 2012.
He said they were apprehended at about 1p.m., at Atlas Cove, Lagos.
According to the prosecutor, the police recovered about 220 drums of petrol, valued at N5.3 million from the accused.