Friday, June 14, 2024

 

Customs Arraign 3 Vietnamese, Others Over Illegal Possession Of Pangolin Skin, Ivory

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Three Vietnam citizens, two Nigerians, a Cameroonian and one Guinean , were today, arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos by men of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) over alleged illegal possession dealing, assembling, storing, smuggling and trading in Pangolin skin and elephant’s Ivory.

The Vietnamese are: Phan Viet Chi, Phan Hong Quan and Duong Van Thang. The Nigerians are: Babangida Mahmoud; Olamilekan Adenekan, while the Guinean and Cameroonian in the charge are: Mory Berrette and Fofou Dadjo Evariste respectively.

Arraigning the defendants before the court today, the prosecutor, Michael Osong, informed the court that all the defendants commited the offences between 2018 and 2022, in Lagos.

He told the court that the offences commited by all the defendants contravened Sections 3(6); 1(14)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offenc Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable unde section 1(14)(a) of the same Act; Sections 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. And sections 64; 64(1)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act, 2004.

The offence is also said to be contrary contrary to and punishable under section 166 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

He also told the court that the offence is contrary to section 3(1) & (2)(a) of the Customs and Excise (Special Penal and Other Provisions) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 3(3) of the same Act. And Section 5(1) of the Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 5(1)(b) of the same Act.

All the defendants, however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) facility till the determination of the charge, while he also asked for a trial date.

But the defendants through their counsel, told the court that they have filed their bail applications and served same on the prosecution, except the fourth defendant.

Justice Yellim Bogoro, after hearing from counsel, adjourned the matter till September 30, for trial.

The judge however ordered that all the defendants be remanded in the facility of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) till the hearing and determination of their bail application

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