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Driver in court over alleged theft of N17.8m worth of diesel

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The driver of a tanker, John Mathias, who allegedly stole a diesel product with a value of N17.8 million, owned by Haido Oil and Gas, received on Thursday in Lagos the bail of N2.1 million. The defendant, 45, is being tried on charges of conspiracy and theft.

The Chief Magistrate, Ms. Yewande Aje-Afunwa of the High Court of Magistrates of Ikeja, in her ruling, said that the defendant should provide two guarantees as part of the conditions of the bond.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Aje-Afunwa said that one of the guarantees must be the owner of a property in Lagos and must have a paid job.

She said that also, the guarantees must show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Earlier, prosecutor, ASP Peter Nwangwu, told the court that the defendant committed the crimes on January 10 at 6:00 p.m. in Ibeto Oil and Gas Depot and Integrated Oil and Gas, both located in Apapa, Lagos.

He alleged that the defendant conspired with other people still at liberty to steal the product.

“The defendant stole 90,000 liters of diesel product that was loaded on two trucks with registration numbers SMK 462 XY and KTU 79 XM for a value of N17.8 million, owned by Umaru Musa of Haido Oil and Gas.

“The defendant and his other accomplice escaped with the diesel product to an unknown destination,” said the prosecutor. According to Nwangwu, the defendant was later arrested by the police after the investigation.

The offenses violated Sections 287 (5) and 411 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015 (Revised).