Court to arraign five Guineans for export of elephant tusk, pangolin scales

The Federal High Court Ikoyi in Lagos has set Thursday, August 26, 2021, as a fresh date to arraign five Guineans arrested by officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for allegedly trying to export pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion.

This was after the trial was stalled on Wednesday over the absence of a translator in court.

The accused Troare Djakonba, Muyribein Bereye, Isiaka Musa, Mohammed Bereta, and Sediki Berete, were supposed to have been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, on a four-count charge raging from collecting, loading, exporting, transporting, and keeping different kilogrammes of pangolin scales and Elephant risk worth N22.3 billion.

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Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Smath Akande, the Nigeria Customs Service legal adviser, said the accused persons would be in court on the new and hopefully a translator would also be in court to read out the charges to them.

He said the accused are all Guinean national and that the charges against them were expected to be read to the accused in a language they understand.

“The charges are to be read to the accused in a language they understand. Because of this the trial Judge, Justice Nicholas Oweigbo, graciously asked that the accused be brought back on August 26,” he said.

Recalled that the NCS, had on August 4, 2021, said it arrested three persons with different kilograms of Pangolin scales and Elephant tusks in Lagos, worth N22.3 billion.

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While displaying the seizures to newsmen in Lagos, the Controller General of Customs (CGC), Hammed Ali, said the 17,137.44 kilograms of Pangolin scales (196 sacks), 870.44 kilograms of elephant tusks, and 4.60 kilograms of pangolin claws were evacuated at a location on the eastern side of Ijeoma Street, Lekki, Lagos State after proper examination.

According to him, NCS’s extensive collaboration yielded credible intelligence that triggered swift and comprehensive actions by the Customs Intelligence Unit and Headquarters Strikeforce.

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