Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday morning produced a retired Naval Officer, Captain Dada Labinjo, who had been in detention without trial for one year and three months.
Labinjo has been in the custody of the Nigerian Navy since September, 2018.
The arraignment of the senior Naval officer on a two-count charge is going on before Justice Muslim Hassan in the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Justice Hassan had on October 30 directed the EFCC to find out the whereabouts of a retired Naval Officer, Captain Dada Labinjo, and produce him before the court on December 2.
The court gave the directives during arraignment of 12 persons, a vessel and two limited liability companies on alleged illegal dealings on petroleum products.
Those docked before the court on the allegations are: MT Adeline, Mrs Bola Labinjo, Jonathan Abaka (alias Joy Boy), Charles Ikemefuna, Benjamin Gold Gageche, Hamzat Yakubu, Emmanuel Oputa and Peter Dung Pule.
Others include: Innocent Akpan, Kehinde Labinjo, Pius Matthew Paul, Onoja Emmanuel, Adeleke Hamed, Global Shipping Activities Bureau Limited and Labland and Sea Services Limited.
The defendants were arraigned by the EFCC on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, to wit illegal dealings in petroleum products.
In the charge, the EFCC alleged that the defendants, sometimes in 2018 within the Nigerian Maritime Domain and within the court’s jurisdiction, allegedly conspired with Segun Sahiyu, Ogunmoyero Oluwaseun Eric, Akpan Friday Itoro, Mr Richard, Captain Felix, Captain Jude, Engineer Teddy, Mr. Michael, MT Juko, Captain Dada Olaniyi Olabinjo, all said to be at large, to commit the alleged illegal act.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mrs Oluwakemi Yemi-Makinde, are contrary to and punishable under Section 17(a) & (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised edition) 2004.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison custody, while also asking for a date of trial.
However, counsel to Mrs Labinjo, Abaka, Benjamin and Yakubu, Mr Jerry Omoregie, Kolawole Salami, Odo RU and A Aruwayo told the court that their clients have been admited to bail by Justice Chuka Obiozor, when they were arraigned on the same allegations, during the court’s long vacation in August, which they have all perfected.