…As NSCDC arrests 5 suspected illegal miners in Oyo***
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned the continuation of trial in the suit involving Sen. Gabriel Suswam until Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter after examination and cross-examination of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s first prosecution witness, Mrs Clara-Whyte Mshelia, by counsel to both parties were completed.
“Thank you very much. You are hereby discharged from the witness box,” the judge told Mshelia.
Suswam and the then Commissioner for Finance in his administration, Omadachi Oklobia, are being prosecuted before the court on N3.1 billion money laundering charges.
They were accused by the EFCC of diverting the money which was said to be part of the proceeds of the sale of some shares of Benue State in a company.
Sen. Suswam, a former Governor of Benue State, presently represents Benue North-East Senatorial District.
Justice Abang had, on Monday, adjourned the matter till Tuesday to enable the EFCC’s witness to continue her testimony.
Msheila is the Managing Director, Elixir Investment Partners, the firm managing Benue State’s shares on behalf of the state.
EFCC’s Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, shortly after the court’s sitting, hinted that the anti-graft agency still had no fewer than six more witnesses to be presented in the suit against the defendants.
In another development, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State command, has arrested five suspected illegal miners and a truck loaded with precious stones in Iseyin area of the state.
The suspects were paraded by the NSCDC State Commandant, Iskilu Akinsanya, on Tuesday, at the command headquarters in Ibadan.
Akinsanya said that the command discovered the operation of the illegal miners at about 4 pm. on Monday as a result of intelligence gathering.
The commandant said that five suspects were arrested with one truck loaded with precious stones.
He said that the suspects were also apprehended with an empty truck and a bicycle.
“We discovered that some of the companies were mining without licence and this is against the law of the land.
“Investigations still continue and they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” Akinsanya said.
He advised Nigerians to always participate in legal businesses and obtain necessary documents and government permit before engaging in any venture.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the suspects admitted that he did not have a licence to mine, saying that he regretted his action.