Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court on Monday sentenced nine men to 24 years imprisonment over pipeline vandalism, illegal transportation, sale of refined petroleum products and murder of nine policemen.
The accused were said to have committed the offence on May 24, 2014, at Arepo near Ikorodu, Lagos.
He, however, discharged and acquitted 11 others of the offence on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish a case against them.
The convicts are: Felix Yayu, Yakubu Ebiwei, Augustine Ebiwei, Owei Atile, Atinuke Odewale, Ijoufaya Legbe, Ahmed Bashorun, Odewale Waheed and Tuesday Filatei.
Justice Okon sentenced them to a term of 10 years imprisonment on count 1 and a term of 12 years on count 2, 3 and 4 respectively while he discharged them of counts five to 14. The sentences according to him are to run concurrently.
“The seed of wrong doing maybe in secret but the harvest cannot be hidden; Today is the day of harvest for the convicts,” he said.
”I came to the conclusion that the convicts have no sympathy for the corporate existence of this country and her citizens. In spite of the genuine efforts made by federal government and the Lagos state government to protect NNPC pipelines, they felt that vandalizing the pipeline and killing the policemen sent to guide pipeline, was best.
“The facts of this case are miserable, sordid, shameful to remember and ghastly to believe; Even though they have not been convicted of killing the nine policemen, it is not in doubt that they all conspired to do so in cold blood”
“I hereby sentence the convicts Felix Yayu, Ijoufaya Legbe, Yakubu Ebiwei, Augustine Ebiwei, Owei Atile, and Tuesday Filatei, to a term of 10 years imprisonment on count one and a term of 12 year’s imprisonment on counts 2, 3 and 4 with effect from today.
“The convicts, Ahmed Bashorun, Atinuke Odewale and Odewale Waheed are sentenced to a term of three years imprisonment on counts one to four with effect from June 1, 2014,” the judge said.