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Court detains five over attempt to export pangolin scale, elephant tusk

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday has remanded four Guinea nationals and a Nigerian in the custody of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for attempting to export N22.3 billion worth of pangolin scale and elephant tusk.

The accused identified as Troare Djakonba, Muyribein Bereye, Mohammed Berete, Sediki Berete, and Isiaka Musa, were arraigned before Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court, Lagos on four-count charges.

Meanwhile, Muyribein Bereye and Sediki Berete were not in court as they were said to be at large while the remaining three persons were present in court.

Also, the five accused persons were arraigned on four-count charges bordering on collecting, loading, transporting, and attempting to export N22.3 billion worth of pangolin scales and elephant tusk.

The charges brought against them in court were read in Manike language, a Guinean dialect by a translator, but they pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

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Justice Tijjani Ringim, the trial Judge, ordered that the accused remain in the custody of the Nigeria Customs, and adjourned the case till September 1, 2021, to allow Nigeria Customs to file a counter bail application.

Smart Akande, counsel to Nigeria Customs told newsmen that all necessary applications would be filed before the adjourned date.

He said the five accused persons were supposed to have been arraigned in court on August 18, 2021, but were stalled by the absence of a translator.

Recall that Hameed Ali, comptroller general of NCS had on August 4, 2021, said officials of the service arrested three persons with different kilograms of pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion in Lagos.

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