41 arraigned over alleged illegal mining in Ibadan

Court gavel

The Police on Thursday arraigned 41 persons at a Federal High Court in Ibadan over alleged illegal mining.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants were arraigned before Justice U.N. Agomoh on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal mining.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mr Michael Ojeah, told the court that the defendants on Jan. 25 at Onipanu village in the Ibadan judicial division conspired with one another to commit felony to wit: unlawful mining.

Ojeah said that the defedants, without lawful authority, did mines and concealed 24.96g of gold ore, valued at N1,248,000, extracted from an illegal mine site at Onipanu village, Ilaju in Ibadan.

He said that under count one, the defendants violated Sections 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. 2004

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

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them.

Consequently, Ojeah informed the court that he was prepared to present fact of the case since the defendants had pleaded guilty.

Insp Awosanmi Abiola, who led the team of security operatives that arrested the defendants, testified before the judge on facts of the case.

Abiola tendered the statements of five principal witnesses and those of the 41 defendants recorded after the arrest.

Agomoh admitted all the statements tendered and marked as exhibits 1 to 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.

Agomoh adjourned the matter till March 11 for continuation of prosecution’s review of the case. (NAN)