Two Indians were yesterday arraigned before a federal high court sitting in Abuja on a four count charge for allegedly conspiring and vandalizing oil pipeline in Okene, Kogi state and dealing in petroleum products without appropriate authority or license in violation of Nigerian laws.
The accused persons, Kamal Sharma and Ashok Agarwal, were docked alongside three Nigerians, Fatai Afolabi, Emmanuel Igbokwe, Tukur Mohammed, and their company, Prism Steel Mill Ltd.
They were alleged to have conspired and damaged the oil pipeline in Okene, Kogi state, thereby committing an offence punishable under section 1(7)(a) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
They all pleaded not guilty to the counts of the charge.
Meanwhile, shortly after their arraignment yesterday, the accused persons begged the high court to release them on bail, a request which was turned down by the presiding Judge, Justice R.A Mohammed.
The Indians had through their lawyer, Chief Lawan Rabana, SAN, urged the court to allow them to go home, pending the determination of the substantive charge against them.
Agarwal ask the court to consider his age, saying he was hypertensive and needed regular medical attention. He added that since their arrest, he has being receiving medical treatment at the Police Force Headquarters medical centre where doctors have been managing his ailment.
However, their bail request was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Friday Ibadin, who insisted that their application was not ripe for hearing.
After listening to all the parties, Justice A. R Mohammed remanded all the accused persons in Kuje Prisons even as he adjourned till February 25 to rule on their bail application.
However, Police yesterday disclosed that it had lined-up four witnesses to testify in the matter, just as it tendered a list of exhibits it intended to rely on towards proving the charge against the accused persons.