Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State has convicted and sentenced one Buba Muhammed, a 37-year-old truck-driver, to one-year imprisonment for possession of solid minerals without lawful authority.
The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) confirmed the illegally acquired minerals to be lepidolite, montmorillonite and chrysocolla.
Lepidolite is one of the raw materials used in the production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the truck used as means of transportation of the illegally acquired minerals to the Federal Government.
Buba, began his journey to the Nigerian Correctional Service’s Custodial Centre on August 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 Kwara State.
He was one of the 13 suspects arrested by operatives of the EFCC, while trying to transport a truck-load of assorted minerals for sale outside the State. Buba was prosecuted on one-count charge by the anti-graft agency.
He had pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, reviewed the facts of the case and thereafter prayed the court to convict the defendant as charged.
Justice Sani, having found merit in the case of the prosecution on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 sentenced Buba to one year imprisonment with N400,000 as option of fine, while ordering the forfeiture of the truck and the minerals to the Federal Government.