BETRAYAL OF TRUST : Hyde Energy Staff Lands In Jail With Hard Labour For Stealing Over N4 Million Automotive Gas Oil Entrusted In His Care

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For betraying the trust reposed in him by his employer, a sales representative with Hyde Energy Limited; Kehinde Ajani , is to spend four years and six months imprisonment with hard labour for diverting 30,000 Liters of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)  valued at N4, 590,000,000,00 (Four Million Five Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) belonging to the company.

The Court in it’s leniency , gave Ajani a N150,000 option of fine and  immediate refund of the sum of N4,100,000.00 Four million, one hundred thousand naira to his former employer or undergo the jail terms.

News Planet International  learnt that the convict was employed by Hyde Energy Limited as sales representative in 2008 and was to over see about eight stations across the country. Regrettably, he betrayed the confidence reposed in him when sometime in 2018 after loading the product he diverted same and sold it for personal use.

It was also gathered that when the product was not seen at the station where it was meant to be sold, Kehinde was reported to have lied to the company that he had yet to load it due to some delays on the part of tank farm adding that management of his ex-employer started smelling a rat following which a separate staff was secretly sent to confirm his claims.

Regrettably the company discovered that he had since loaded the product, sold it and fled to Port Harcourt. This prompted the company to contact a law firm, Messrs Adeniji Kazeem & Co, who promptly petitioned the State-CID in Port Harcourt which started tracking Kehinde who was later trailed to his hideout somewhere in Ogun State, arrested and later charged him to court for stealing.

His trial sources said, suffered some administrative bottleneck following the elevation of the former Magistrate presiding over the matter after which the matter was freshly brought before Chief Magistrate Victor Ugoji in September 2021. It was he who sentenced and convicted Kehinde Ajani to the said prison terms or option of fine.                                                                          

Court held that a case of stealing was made against the Defendant, found him guilty and convicted him of the offence of stealing accordingly. “There was heavy and unchallenged evidences against the Defendant which must be relied on. The case falls squarely on betrayal of trust which the Complainant had reposed on the Defendant and he should serve as deterrent to others.”

Delivering his lead judgment, Chief Magistrate Victor Ugoji remarked that, “In considering the offence of stealing, court held that the product belonged to the complainant having paid for it. The Defendant had the sole responsibility of ensuring delivery of the product and remit payment was sent to him for such purpose. The Defendant kept deceiving the Complainant that the product was not loaded by giving several reasons which the Complainnant relied on not until when he was no longer on the employment of the Complainant before the truth became known.

“On the offence of conspiracy, the Defendant is hereby sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour with an option of fine of fifty thousand naira. On the offence of stealing, the Defendant is hereby sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour with an option of fine of one hundred thousand naira.

The Defendant is to pay the sum of four million naira to the Complainant as compensation for his product. The Defendant is also to pay the sum of one hundred thousand naira to the Complainant as cost of litigation. The payment should be immediate.”

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