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Illegal Mining: Kwara Court Jails Father Of Six

A Federal High court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, has sentenced a 37-year-old man, identified as Buba Muhammed, to one year imprisonment for illegal possession of solid minerals without lawful authority.

The father of six, who was a truck driver, was said to have used his truck as means of transportation of the illegally acquired minerals.

The presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Sani, ruled that the convict should forfeit his truck to the Federal Government as the minerals were confirmed by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, to be lepidolite, montmorillonite and chrysocolla.

Lepidolite is one of the raw materials usually transported outside the country for the production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

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On August 30, 2022, operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested the convict and 12 others, while acting on credible intelligence at Lade, Pategi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

They were trying to transport a truckload of assorted crude minerals for sale outside the State.

Buba was prosecuted on one-count charge by the anti-graft agency, to which he pleaded guilty upon arraignment.

The charge sheet read; “That you, Buba Mohammed some time in September 2022 at Lade Pategi Local Government Area, Kwara State, within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, and thereby committed an offence to wit; without lawful authority, come into possession of 30 tonnes of mineral conveyed in an INVECO Truck with identification Mark: KUJ60XC and Chassis No:ZCFAIVPJ001161598 contrary to and punishable under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1983.”

Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, reviewed the facts of the case and thereafter prayed the court to convict the defendant as charged.

Justice Sani, having found merit in the case of the prosecution on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 sentenced Buba to one year imprisonment with N400,000 option of fine.

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