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Arepo pipeline vandals know fate Feb 11

05 February 2013, 09:01

Ogun - A Federal High Court in Lagos will on Feb. 11 determine whether to grant bail to four of the six persons charged with pipeline vandalism and murder of three engineers at Arepo, Ogun.

Justice Mohammed Idris fixed the date after hearing arguments on their bail applications on Monday.

The six defendants are Joel Inerepamu, 25; Reuben Oluwole,60; John Isaiah, 28; Ineye Okposa ,40; Timi Gunugunu,22, and Olisa Saheed,25.

They are standing trial on a seven-count charge.

At the resumed hearing in the case on Monday, counsel to Oluwole, Isaiah, Gunugunu and Saheed moved and argued their applications.

Mr George Iheanacho, counsel to Oluwole, Isaiah and Saheed, urged the court to grant his clients bail on grounds of ill-health, arguing that they had been ill since their arrest.

He prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.

However, counsel to Gunugunu, Mr Charles Ovuru, submitted that his client would not jump bail, if granted.

But the prosecution counsel, Mr Toyin Ibadin, objected to the applications.

Ibadin submitted that the first son of one of those seeking bail was killed in an explosion at Arepo, caused by oil pipeline vandalism.

He alleged that the deceased and his mother were equally involved in pipeline vandalism.

Ibadin also argued that murder was a capital offence.

The prosecutor argued that the defendants could jump bail since they resided in the creeks with no traceable addresses.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge had remanded the defendants on Nov. 29, 2012, when they were arraigned.

They had pleaded not guilty.

Ibadin said then that the defendants had conspired on Sept. 5, 2012, at about 6p.m. at Arepo, and vandalised an oil pipeline.

He noted that the pipeline belonged to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the employer of the deceased engineers.

The prosecutor also alleged that the suspects, armed with guns, scooped large quantities of petroleum products and shot dead the engineers, who were monitoring the pipelines.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 3(6), 7(a), 7(b) and 17(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004 and Section 319 of the Criminal Code, 2004.

NAN

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