An Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, has convicted a unit Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Oladele Oluwowo, of felony and stealing. Oluwowo, 51, was charged with stealing from a client, who had contracted him to arrange the supply of 33,000 litres of diesel valued at N2.8m.
At his arraignment, the prosecutor, Mr. Peter Nwagwu, had told the court that on October 28, 2010, Oluwowo had given the supplier, Mr. Rume Yemba, a local purchase order for the fuel, at the unit price of N87 per litre. In a statement made by Yemba at the police station, a copy of which was tendered in court, the supplier was to be paid one week after the delivery of the diesel. Yemba said in his statement, “At the point of delivery, Oluwowo issued a cheque but when it was presented, it bounced because there was money the account “But we went to the filling station the product was supplied to, we were paid N2.2m. We were told he (Oluwowo) had collected the balance of N607,000. I then reported the matter to the police.”
When he was first arraigned, Magistrate F. Abegunde-Davies granted him bail in the sum of N200,000. The Investigating Police Officer, Inspector Taiwo Adeyemo, said in his statement tendered in court that after the suspect was arrested, he promised to pay back the money. “Oluwowo secretly took the N607,000 from the sale of the fuel and ran away. We were not able to locate him,” the IPO said in the statement dated March 3, 2011. He was said to have resurfaced after his wife was arrested.
However, the court ordered him to pay back the money before his sentencing, since he had earlier promised to pay back. The prosecutor said he had paid back N30, 000 out of the money.“Whether you pay the money back or not will determine the severity of your sentence,” the magistrate said.
The sentencing has been fixed for August 10.