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How Court Sentenced 2 Chinese to One Year in Prison in Nigeria

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How Court Sentenced 2 Chinese to One Year in Prison in Nigeria

Two Chinese nationals have been convicted and sentenced to one year in prison each with an option fine over their involvement in illegal mining operations in Kwara State.

Duan Ya Hong and Xiao Yi, the two Chinese, were arrested in Banni, Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State, in February 2024.

They were subsequently charged by the EFCC before Justice Evelyn Anyadike. When the case first came up for hearing, they pleaded not guilty, but they backtracked on their pleading on their second appearance in court, leading to their conviction by the court the same day.

 

On Thursday, the EFCC wrote on its X handle that the two convicts were given the option of paying N2 million and N1.5 million in view of their sentence.

Part of EFCC’s statement read: “Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, convicted and sentenced two Chinese: Duan Ya Hong and Xiao Yi, to one year imprisonment for offences bordering on illegal mining and possession of solid minerals without requisite licences.”

The duo were arraigned on Monday, April 22, 2024, alongside their company, Ebuy Concept Ltd., on a one-count charge bordering on illegal mining.

“They pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them. Consequently, they were granted bail in the sum of N5million naira with two sureties each in like sum. In addition, the court ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending the perfection of their bail conditions,” said the EFCC.

“Thereafter, the case was adjourned to Tuesday, May 14, 2024 for trial. When the case came up on Tuesday, the defendants who were yet to perfect their bail, opted to plead guilty to count one of the amended 11-count charge and entered a plea of not guilty to the remaining counts, prompting the court to adjourn till Wednesday for a review of facts and possible conviction.

“At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, counsel to the EFCC, Innocent Mbachie, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered in evidence the extra-judicial statements of the defendants, photographs of the defendants, samples of the minerals, photographs of the truck and the forensic report received from the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency on the analysis of the minerals.

“The defendants, represented by I.A. Ahmed, raised no objection to the admissibility of the exhibits tendered by the prosecution; hence, they were admitted in evidence by the court.

“Delivering judgment, Justice Anyadike held that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and pronounced them guilty as charged.

“Consequently, the judge sentenced Hong to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N2 million, while Yi, on the other hand, was sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N1.5million.

“In addition, the court ordered the interim forfeiture of the 30 tons of minerals and the truck conveying same.”

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