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Truck Driver Jailed 12months For Illegal Mining In Kwara

Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State has convicted and sentenced one Buba Muhammed, a 37-year-old truck-driver, to one-year imprisonment for possession of solid minerals confirmed by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, to be lepidolite, montmorillonite and chrysocolla, without lawful authority.

Lepidolite is one of the raw materials used in the production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the truck used as means of transportation of the illegally acquired minerals to the Federal Government.

Buba, began his journey to the Nigerian Correctional Service’s Custodial Centre on August 30, 2022, when he was arrested by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, while acting on credible intelligence at Lade, Pategi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

He was one of the 13 suspects arrested by operatives of the EFCC, while trying to transport a truck-load of assorted minerals for sale outside the State.

Buba was prosecuted on one-count charge by the anti-graft agency.

The charge reads:

“That you, Buba Mohammed sometime 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.”

He had pleaded guilty to the charge. 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 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only) as option of fine, while ordering the forfeiture of the truck and the minerals to the Federal Government.

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