October 1, 2022

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Court remands four Guineans, Nigerian for attempting to export pangolin scales

The seized pangolin scales and elephant tusks

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, ordered the remand in the custody of the Nigeria Customs Service four Guineans and a Nigeria who were accused of trying to export N22.3 billion worth of Pangolin scales and elephant tusks.

The accused who were identified as Troare Djakonba, Muyribein Bereye, Mohammed Berete, Sediki Berete (Guinean) and Isiaka Musa were arraigned before Justice Tijjani Rigim of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on collecting, loading, transporting and attempting to export N22.3 billion worth of Pangolin scales and elephant tusks.

The charges brought against them were read to them by a translator in Manike language, a Guinean dialect but they pleaded not guilty to all four count charges.

The trial Judge, Justice Tijjani Rigim, ordered that the accused remain in the custody of the Nigeria Customs Service until September 1, 2021, when a counter application for a bail application is expected to be filed by the defense counsel.

Meanwhile, Muyribein Bereye and Sediki Berete, who were reportedly on the run were not in court but counsel to the NCS, Smart Akande, told the court that effort was ongoing to ensure their arrest and were made to answer charges in court.

He said all necessary applications would be filed before the adjourned date.

Barr. Akande said the five accused persons were supposed to have been arraigned in court on August 18, 2021 but was stalled due to the absence of a translator.

Recall that the Comptroller General of NCS, Hameed Ali. had on August 4, 2021, said officials of the Service arrested three persons with different kilograms of pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion in Lagos following credible intelligence.