The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) Lagos Zonal office on Tuesday, arraigned Rahul Pathania, an Indian, and a vessel, M.V. Bount, before Justice Rilwan M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to a social media statement by the financial crimes agency, Pathania and the vessel were indicted on a three-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The defendant was arrested alongside the vessel by the Nigerian Navy and subsequently handed over to to the Commission for prosecution.
As disclosed by the EFCC, one of the counts against them read;
“That you, M.V.Bount and Rahul Pathania, on the 31st day of January 2020, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 45 metric tons of petroleum product without appropriate licence.
And you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and punishable under Section 1(7) of the same Act.”
Pathania is said to have pleaded guilty to the first count of conspiracy but not guilty to the others.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, pleaded with the court for a date to commence trial and also asked that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS).
Justice Liman adjourned the matter to October 7, 2020 for commencement of trial and also ordered the defendant to be remanded in the NCS.