The Nigerian Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed by 14 foreign nationals contesting their conviction for oil theft, CAJ News reports.
Officers from the Nigerian Navy arrested the convicts from Japan, Philippines, Russia and Ukraine and intercepted their vessel, loaded with crude oil estimated at 1 738 tonnes in 2015. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
The Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced 11 out of the convicted suspects to two years imprisonment each, with an option of N5 million (R176 150) fine, as three of the foreign nationals had jumped bail and absconded.
Following the ruling, the accused had approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment. However, in a judgment read last week by Justice Garuba Haruna, the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the lower court convicting them.