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Illegal mining: EFCC arrests 41 suspects, impounds 12 trucks

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested 41 suspects and impounded 12 trucks allegedly containing different types of solid minerals without license.

The EFCC Zonal Commander, Michael Nzekwe, said this on Tuesday in Ilorin.

According to him, the offence is punishable with life imprisonment under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983.

He said that the arrest, which followed credible intelligence over the activities of the illegal miners featured suspects transporting truckloads of assorted minerals outside the state without due license.

”They were arrested at different locations in Share, Banni, Lade, Patigi and Okolowo in Kwara, and Igbeti and Ogbomosho in Oyo State.

“The suspects are Nura Lawan, Tunde Jimoh, Sani Umar, Oyeleke Sunkanmi, Adegboyega Oluwashola, Mohammed Umar, Muhammed Abubakar
“Others are Dawud Muideen, Chukwu Okpara Idam, Ganiyu Roqeeb, Umina Umina, Nura Ibrahim, Isiyaku Jibril and Samaila Ibrahim,” he said.

According to him, they also include Idris Isah, Abdullahi Adamu, Yusuf Auwal, Aminu Usman, Muhammed Musa, Yusuf Ibrahim, Abdullahi Sani, Ishola Mayowa Qudus, Zakariyau Yusuf.

‘Among them are Abubakar Dauda, Mohammed A Mohammed, Soliu Mohammed, Sunday Adewale and Adeyemi Michael.

“The rest are Idris Mohammed, Auwal Adam, Yusuf Ibrahim, Abdullahi Lawal, Damilare Samuel, Idris Oyeniran, Peter Gaya, Sulaiman Kabiru.

“They also include Abdulwasiu Jimoh, Azeez Taofik, Isyaka Olalekan, Taofik Bello and Sadiq Murtala,” he said.

Mr Nzekwe gave details of the registration number of the impounded 12 trucks as FG 179 6B; KWM 398 XA; TRE 419 YJ; ABC 795 XD; KWS 351 XC; ZUR 370 XJ; YL 667 XA; T3815 LA; AAA998XA; SHD 625XA and KWM 416 XA.

He said preliminary investigations showed that the minerals suspected to be marble stone, white powder, lithium and lepidolite, among others, were being transported outside the country for production of goods at the expense of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Nzekwe said that the commission would be unrelenting in the fight against corruption just as it was leaving no stone unturned in breaking the rings of the illegal mining operators across the country.

He said that aside the law that frowns on illegal mining activities, the act is an economy sabotage capable of causing environmental devastation, socio-economic hardship, insecurity, banditry and a host of other vices.

According to him, the suspects will be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of the ongoing investigations,” he said.

“You may recall that the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command had in 2022 secured the conviction of a Chinese national, Gang Deng and final forfeiture of two trucks with its mineral contents to the Federal Government.

”It also arrested 13 Chinese nationals comprising of a female and 12 males on July 12, 2023 for offences bordering on illegal mining,” he said.
NAN

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