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37-Year-Old Truck-Driver Jailed For Illegal Mining Activities In Kwara

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37-Year-Old Truck-Driver Jailed For Illegal Mining Activities In Kwara

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

A 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 without lawful authority.

Justice Muhammed Sani, ordered the forfeiture of the truck used as means of transportation of the illegally acquired minerals to the Federal Government as they 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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It will be recalled that ACE II Michael Nzekwe, Zonal Commander of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Command, had repeatedly warned operators in the mining sector in Kwara State against illegal mining activities and non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government, which he described as “acts of economic sabotage.”

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Buba, a father of six with two wives began his journey to the Nigerian Correctional 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.

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He was one of the 13 suspects arrested by operatives of the EFCC on the said date while trying to transport a truckload of assorted crude minerals for sale outside the State.

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

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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 offense 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.”

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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 the option of fine, while ordering the forfeiture of the truck and its mineral content to the Federal Government.

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