Law News
Arepo Pipeline: Court adjourns till Dec. 15 trial of 10

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday adjourned till Dec. 15, the trial of 10 men charged with vandalism of oil pipeline and murder at Arepo in Ogun.

The accused are–Joel Inerepamu; 25, Rueben Oluwole; 60, John Isaiah; 28, Ineye Okposa; 40, Timi Gunugunu, 22; and Olisa Saheed, 25.

Others are Jigo Jiperende, 31; Timi Koro, 29; Johnbosco Igbhofose, 26; and Peter Opidi, 28.

Justice Mohammed Idris said the adjournment was given with reluctance because the case had dragged on for two years.

Idris thereafter adjourned the case to Dec. 15, Dec. 16, Dec. 17 and Dec.18, for continuation of trial.

The judge said that it was essential to make progress in the suit and decried the delay that had characterised the case.

When the case was called, the prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang, informed the court of the absence of counsel to the ninth and 10th accused.

Mrs Sarah Nwokoro, the counsel to the fifth and sixth accused, also pleaded indisposition to proceed with the trial because of the loss of relative and requested that the case be adjourned.

The prosecution did not oppose the application for adjournment.

The accused were re-arraigned on April 29, 2013, on an amended seven-count charge.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge, but the judge had ordered their remand at the Ikoyi prisons, and ordered accelerated hearing of the case.

The prosecutor had told the court that the accused committed the offence on Sept. 5, 2012 at about at Arepo in Ogun.

He said they had conspired to vandalise an oil pipeline located in the vicinity and siphoned petrol for illegal sale.

According to him, on sighting engineers from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) assigned for routine maintenance of pipelines in the area, the accused opened fire on them.

Enang said that in the process, three of the engineers were shot dead.

He said that the offences committed contravened provisions of Sections 3(6), 7(a), 7(b), and 17(a) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The offence of murder also contravenes the provisions of Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Cap C 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

NAN reports that murder attracts the death penalty upon conviction.


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