• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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EFCC arraigns two over conveyance of solid minerals without licence

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The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently arraigned two individuals for possession of 30 tons of solid minerals without licence.

The accused, Nura Lawal and Tunde Jimoh, were brought before Uche Agomoh, Justice of the Federal High Court in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to a statement released on Monday by Dele Oyewale, Head of Media & Publicity for the EFCC in Abuja, Lawal was the driver of a truck carrying approximately 30 tons of assorted solid minerals, while Jimoh served as the truck’s escort.

The case against them began when the EFCC’s Ilorin Command received intelligence about illegal mining activities in Kwara State, with minerals being transported for commercial purposes without proper authorization.

Acting on this intelligence, the EFCC arrested Lawal and Jimoh on February 4, 2024, in the Ogbomosho area of Oyo State.

The charge against the defendants reads: “That you, Nura Lawal and Tunde Jimoh, sometime in February 2024 within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, without lawful authority, were found in possession of minerals conveyed in a truck with plate number T3815LA contrary to, and punishable under Section 1 (8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983.”

During the arraignment, Lawal pleaded guilty to the charge, which was read in English and interpreted in Hausa. Jimoh, however, pleaded not guilty.

Following their pleas, Mustapha Kaigama, EFCC counsel requested the Court to set a date for reviewing the facts in Lawal’s case, given his guilty plea, and to schedule a trial for Jimoh, who pleaded not guilty.

Lawal’s counsel, C.I. Ipinsokan, did not object to this request. However, Jimoh’s counsel, Michael Adetayo, urged the court to expedite the bail application for his client and requested that Jimoh be allowed to continue on the administrative bail previously granted by the EFCC.

Agomoh denied Jimoh’s bail request, stating, “The proper place to keep an inmate under the law is the Nigerian Correctional Centre.”

The judge also noted, “The court cannot give a date to hear and determine a bail application that is yet to be filed before it.”

The judge ordered that both defendants be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Agodi, Ibadan, and adjourned the case to June 5, 2024, for a review of facts in Lawal’s case and the trial of Jimoh.