The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office has secured six convictions for illegal operation on the Nigerian waters.
Four of the convicts who were arraigned separately before the Federal High Court, Warri in Delta State are Paul Edorena, Friday Oghenero, Onoja Emmanuel and Charles Ehifuoma.
A statement issued by the anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said the convicts were arraigned for offences that borders on illegal operation in the Nigerian waters without licences.
The charge against Edarano reads: “That you Paul Edarano on or about 23rd April, 2019 in Warri, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did without licence/lawful authority brought into Nigeria territorial waters, a Cambodia Vessel MT Miracle with IMO No 8936827 depriving the Federal government of Nigeria of revenue and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act No. 5 ,2003 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 40 of the same Act”.
Edorena and his co-travellers reportedly pleaded guilty when their charge were read to them.
On this basis, the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters prayed the court to convict the defendant accordingly.
However, the defence counsel, R .A. Ekpe pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy saying, the defendants were first time offenders who have become remorseful since they were arrested.
In his ruling, Justice E. Nwite sentenced the four defendants to a fine of N600,000 each.