By Temitope Stephen
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo sitting at a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced three pipeline vandals to a total of 33-year imprisonment.
The convicted vandals are Yaya Musa, Sephiani Sani and Oluwole Atobatele.
They were slammed the jail term moments after the court convicted them on the three counts preferred against them.
The judge held that the prosecution hasdsuccessfully proved its case against them.
The prosecution, in the amended charge marked FHC/L/3c/2011, told the court that the convicts had on December 19, 2010, at about 01.20 a.m., at Ogere area of Ogun State, conspired among themselves and tampered with petroleum pipeline.
They were also said to have unlawfully damaged the said petroleum pipeline, and stole 33, 000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, valued at N2.145 million.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Justine Enang, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), of Anti-Pipeline Vandalization and Illegal Bunkering, of Zone 2, Command Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, are contrary to and punishable under sections 516, 7(a) of and 390 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38, and Miscellaneous Offences, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Bar and Bench Watch recalls that accused were first arraigned before the court sometimes in 2011, and pleaded not guilty to all the counts, and they were all admitted to bail on various bail terms.
However, the bail terms were revoked in 2014, when one of them jumped bail. They were later re-arraigned in 2015.
During the trial of the case, the prosecutor had called three witnesses, who narrated in details the roles played by each of them and how the convicts were arrested with exhibits tendered against them.
The convicts who pleaded not guilty however in their defence did not call any witness
After both the prosecution and the defence closed their cases, the court set a date for judgment.
Delivering judgement in the case Thursday, Justice Oguntoyinbo, said the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against all the convicts.
Consequently, Justice Oguntoyinbo sentenced the convicts to four years, five years and two years in count one, two and three respectively.
Specifically, each convict bagged eleven years each while the three of them were cumulatively sentenced to 33 years imprisonment.
The judge however ordered that the terms of the sentence would commence reading from November 4, 2014, when their bail was revoked