BY EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA-The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned three Chinese nationals, Guan Pin Mang, Tony Yang (Yang Zhaoye) and Lu Yundi, before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on a four-count charge of allegedly vandalizing the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, underground pipeline and storing 1,100 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, without lawful authority or possessing the appropriate licence to do so.
However, the three accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge which was interpreted to them by another Chinese as they claimed not to understand English Language.
Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court to fix a date for trial and also asked the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody. Attempt by the defence counsel, J. O. Ololo, to move for bail was rejected by the presiding judge. Ololo said he had filed a bail application which had been served to the prosecution counsel.
However, Justice Nyako said she was yet to receive the application as it was not before her. The accused counsel also urged the court to grant the accused persons bail as they were already enjoying the administrative bail of EFCC. Justice Nyako dismissed that on the grounds that the action of EFCC was different from that of the court.
Justice Nyako adjourned to March 30 for ruling on the bail application but ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
Trouble began for the Chinese when they were arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on January 13, 2011, for illegal possession and dealing in PMS at Road 20, Block 11, Diamond Estate, Isheri, Lagos. Items recovered from them include 4 kegs of 25 litres of PMS, 4 drums of 200 litres each of PMS, 4 kegs of 50 litres each of PMSand 2 kegs of 50 litres each of PMS.