Father Of 6 Jailed 1 Year For Illegal Mining In Kwara

Date: 2023-03-23

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 and father of six children, to one-year imprisonment for possession of solid minerals without lawful authority.

The judge also 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.

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

It will be recalled that the Zonal Commander of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin Command, Michael Nzekwe, 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.”

Buba, the 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, Patigi local government area of the state.

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 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.

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 sentenced Buba to one year imprisonment with N400,000 option of fine, while ordering the forfeiture of the truck and its mineral contents to the federal government.

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