A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday convicted and sentenced one Buba Muhammed, a 37-year-old truck driver, to 12 months imprisonment for unlawful possession of 30 tonnes of solid minerals.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted the convict on a one-count charge of unlawful possession of 30 tonnes of solid minerals, to which he pleaded guilty.
Justice Muhammed Sani, having found merit in the case of the prosecution, sentenced Buba to one-year imprisonment with an option of a N400,000 fine.
Sani also ordered the forfeiture of the truck used to transport the illegally acquired minerals to the Federal Government.
The charge against him reads:
“That you, Buba Mohammed sometime in September 2022 at Lade, Pategi Local Government Area, Kwara State, within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court and thereby committed an offence to wit; without lawful authority, come into possession of 30 tonnes of mineral conveyed in an INVECO Truck with identification Mark: KUJ60XC and Chassis No: ZCFAIVPJ001161598 contrary to and punishable under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1983.”
Following his guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, reviewed the facts of the case and prayed the court to convict the defendant as charged.
According to the EFCC, Muhammed began his journey to the Nigerian Correctional Centre on Aug. 30, 2022, when he was arrested by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC while acting on credible intelligence at Lade, Pategi Local Government Area of the state.
He was one of the 13 suspects arrested by operatives of the EFCC while trying to transport a truckload of assorted crude minerals for sale outside the state.
According to the commission, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) confirmed the mineral to be lepidolite, montmorillonite and chrysocolla.
Lepidolite is one of the raw materials usually transported outside the country for the production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.