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    Kwara: Truck driver docked for alleged illegal mining activities

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    By Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

    The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a 46-year-old truck driver, Kasimu Bawa, for alleged offences bordering on illegal mining and possession of minerals without lawful authority.

    Kasimu, who is being prosecuted on amended one-count charge before Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, was the driver of the truck conveying the minerals allegedly purchased without license by the Chinese National, Dang Deng, who had been convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment on October 19, 2022 by same court.

    The defendant was reportedly arrested by the operatives of the EFCC on September 9, 2022 at Share along Tsaragi Road in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State with a truck containing 25 tons of minerals suspected to be products of illegal activities worth the sum of N2.4m.

    The charge against the defendant reads: “That you, Kasimu Bawa, Sometime in the Month of September 2022, at Share, along Tsaragi Road, in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, without lawful authority, comes into possession of minerals to wit; 25 Tons of minerals worth the sum of N2,490,000.00 (Two Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) conveyed in a DAF Truck, with Registration Number KEY 777 ZF and Chassis Number KLRAD85XCOE603462 and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 1(8) (b) (i) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act 1984.”

    When the charge was read to him, the defendant pleaded not guilty.

    Upon his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Rashidat Alao, asked the court to fix a date for hearing and remand the defendant in the Correctional Centre pending trial.

    However, counsel to the defence, A.T Smith sought the leave of the court to move oral application for bail of the defendant, which was opposed by the prosecution.

    Justice Sani, in a bench ruling refused the defence application saying: “This court is a court of record. The oral application for bail of the defendant is hereby refused.”

    Thereafter, the judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Correctional Centre, Ilorin and adjourned the case till November 4, 2022 for hearing.

    End
    Photo caption: Kasimu Bawa, the truck driver

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