The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Thursday arraigned four Dangote staffers for diverting trucks of bags of cement meant to be delivered to customers of the company.
The accused included Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam and they were taken before Justice O. J. Bamgbose of Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta on two count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
However, there was a mild drama at the resumed hearing in court on Thursday, when the 2nd defendant told the court that he did not understand English Language, and that he needed an interpreter in Hausa Language.
The 3rd defendant also said that he understood Yoruba Language, while the 4th said that he understood Ashanti Language or pidgin English.
The court eventually provided interpreters for them in Hausa, Yoruba and pidgin English respectively.
Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam were accused of conspiring amongst themselves between May and August, 2018 in Ibese to steal the sum of N15, 940, 800.00 00 (Fifteen Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) property of Dangote Cement Plc.
It was also alleged that Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam, between May and August, 2018 at Ibese, stole 9 trucks of cement valued at N15, 940,800.00 00 (Fifteen Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) property of Dangote Cement Plc.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Counsel to the EFCC, Idris Mohammed requested that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and that trial date be given.
However, defence counsel to 1st defendant, Adewumi Adisa and defence counsel to 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, Abolanle Davies, urged the court to move oral application for bail since they were in EFCC custody since September, and that the defendants should remain in EFCC custody pending the hearing of bail application.
Justice Bamgbose, in his ruling remanded all the defendants in Ibara prison custody in Abeokuta and adjourned till 17th December, 2018 for hearing of bail application and commencement of trial.
Idris said that the EFCC had received a petition from Dangote Plc about Mr. Dalmeida Adewale, a fleet analyst, whose job schedules are monitoring, tracking and reporting of trucks of Dangote Cement Ibese.
Adewale was said to have connived with the chief driver of the company, Ibrahim Lawal and a driver, who is a Ghanian, Lukman Adam and one Afeez Olaniba working as an agent at the Nigeria boarder to divert 9 trucks of cement carrying 800 bags each meant to be delivered to the company’s customers in Togo using fake identification card and trucks number plates, valued at over N15 million.