Illegal Mining: Nigerian Govt Withdraws suit against Dan-China, 16 Chinese Nationals

The Federal High Court sitting in Jos, on Tuesday, discharged a miner and former Bauchi State governorship aspirant on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Abdullahi Usman (Dan China), 16 Chinese nationals and nine Nigerians who were arraigned before the court over alleged illegal mining.

The defendants were accused of engaging in illegal mining of lead and zinc at Kampani Zurak in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau state between 2015 and 2017.

Recall that that on February 20, 2018, the defendants were arraigned before the court after the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation filed a 4-count charge against them.

The case with suit number FHC/J/6/2018 was signed by Aminu Alilu, an Assistant Chief State Counsel of the Department of Prosecutions of the Federation under Federal Ministry of Justice.

The four charges against the defendants were said to be contrary to and punishable under the various provisions of Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.

However, during Tuesday’s sitting, the prosecuting counsel, Victor Joshua told the court that he was directed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to withdraw the case against the defendants.

He explained that defendants in the course of their activities didn’t breach or violate various provisions of Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.

The defendants’ counsel, Joseph Danboyi didn’t raise any objection but requested for the court to release international passports and other documents of the defendants that were in the custody of the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Musa Kurya after listening to the both prosecuting and defendants’ counsels, then discharged the accused, before ordering the registrar of the court to release the documents of the defendants to them.

He said, “Since the defendants didn’t breach or violate various provisions of Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, they are hereby discharged.”

Credit: Shittu Tanko

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Illegal Mining: Nigerian Govt Withdraws suit against Dan-China, 16 Chinese Nationals

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