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Illegal Mining: Nigerian Police Arraign 41 In Ibadan



No fewer than 41 persons were on Thursday arraigned at a Federal High Court in Ibadan by the police over allegation of illegal mining.

The defendants who were arraigned before Justice Agomoh were charged with a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal mining.

Police prosecuting counsel, Mr Michael Ojeah, told the court that the 41 defendants, “on Jan.25, at Onipanu Village in Ibadan the Judicial Division, did conspire with one another to commit felony to with: unlawful mining”.

Ojeah further said the defendants without lawful authority did mine and conceal 24.96 grams of gold ore, valued at N1,248,000, extracted from an illegal mining site at Onipanu Village, Ilaju in Ibadan.

According to him, under count one, the defendants violated sections 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, vol. 11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. 2004.

On count two, he said the defendants committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Volume.9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.2004.

Upon all the 41 defendants pleading guilty to the charge, Ojeah subsequently informed the court that he was prepared to present fact of the case.

Inspector Awosanmi Abiola, who led a team of security operatives that arrested the defendants testified before Justice Agomoh on fact of the case.t He tendered statements of five principal witnesses and statements of the 41 defendants recorded after the arrest.

Justice Agomoh admitted all the statements tendered and were marked as Exhibits 1 – 46, as the defendants’ counsel, Mr Suraji Musa did not object.

Musa, however, prayed the court for a short adjournment for continuation of case review which Justice Agomoh granted and adjourned until March 11, for continuation of prosecution’s review of the case.