Three Chinese Arraigned Over Alleged Illegal Mining

By Starrys Obazei | May 18, 2023.

Three Chinese nationals have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged illegal mining.

The defendants, Song Fei, Li Teng Fei, and Fei Shan, along with their company, Lian Hua Quarry Nigeria Limited, are facing three counts of charges in court.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, is prosecuting the trio for illegal mining activities.

NSCDC said the defendants were involved in illegal mining activities without naming the mineral resources involved.

The commission accused the defendants of conspiracy, unlawful mining of minerals through quarrying, and carrying out quarrying operations without lawful authority.

It also accused the defendants of undertaking the exploitation of mineral resources, which violated sections 3(6), 1(8)(b), 43(1), (7), and 131(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to three charges, including conspiracy and illegal mining offenses, when their offenses were read to them on Wednesday.

The prosecuting lawyer, Alex Ojo, told the court that the defendants “are a flight risk” and asked the court to remand them to the correctional center pending the commencement of trial.

Meanwhile, the defendant’s lawyer, S.M. Nwosu, urged the court to admit his clients to bail.

In her ruling, the judge, Nkeonye Maha, adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, May 31,

The judge also granted the defendants bail and ordered them to submit their passports to the registrar of the court.

The court ordered them to produce three sureties with landed properties within Abuja and that the sureties should submit their certificates of occupancy for their properties to the court.

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