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Court remands Indian in prison for ‘illegal bunkering’

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By Innocent Anaba

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has remanded an Indian national, Rahul Pathania in prison custody for allegedly dealing in 45 tons of petroleum products illegally.

Trial judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa ordered his remand following his plea of “guilty” to conspiracy and “not guilty” to two other related counts of the charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The accused, alongside a vessel, M.V Bount, were arrested on January 31, 2020, on Nigerian waters, by the Nigerian Navy.

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Prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari alleged that the accused conspired to deal in “45 metric tons of petroleum products without the appropriate license.”

The offence violated Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004, and was punishable under Section 1(7) of the same Act, the prosecution had argued.

Given his plea, prosecution prayed the court for a date to commence trial and also asked that the accused be remanded in prison custody.

The court granted the prayer and adjourned till October 7, 2020, for trial.

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