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EFCC sues two Chinese, company for alleged illegal mining in Ilorin

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin Zonal Command has arraigned two Chinese, Duan Ya Hong and Xiao Yi, alongside their company, Ebuy Concept Limited, before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin over alleged illegal mining activities.

The defendants were arraigned on one count bordering on possession of solid minerals without license and non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government as required by law.

The charge reads: “That you, Ebuy Trading Worldwide Nig.LTD, Duan Ya Hong, Xiao Yi, sometime in the month of February 2024 at Banni, in Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, without lawful authority, purchased minerals to wit, 30 tonnes of minerals conveyed in a truck, with Registration Number JJJ 386 XT, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 1(8)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1984”.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was read in English and interpreted to them in Chinese.

Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Innocent Mbachie, prayed the court to remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service pending the hearing and determination of the case. He further prayed for the court to fix a date for trial to enable the prosecution to prove its case.

Responding as counsel to the defendants, A. A. Aromolaran prayed the court to admit his clients to bail. He stated that the international passports of the defendants were already in the custody of the Commission, adding that there was no way they would not be available for trial, just as he assured that they would not interfere with investigations or intimidate witnesses.

Justice Anyadike, after entertaining arguments and counterarguments from both sides, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N5 million naira with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge ordered that the sureties must be landowners within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit the deeds of title of the properties with the court’s registry.

The court also ordered that the sureties must provide evidence of payment of electricity bills for the past ten months and evidence of tax payments for the past three years.

Thereafter, the judge ordered that the defendants (Chinese) be remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending the perfection of their bail conditions and adjourned the matter till May 16, 2024, for the commencement of trial.

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