3 arraigned for allegedly importing N5bn worth of substandard tyres in Nigeria

FOR allegedly importing substandard tyres into Nigeria, two Chinese nationals and a Nigerian were on Monday arraigned before Federal High Court in Lagos.

They were accused of importing substandard automobile tyres worth about N5bn into the country.

The accused, who were arraigned by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, are Taolung Shen, Xu Jing Yao and Chinedu Madubuike.

They were arraigned alongside two companies, Sino Nigeria Limited and Nedeca International Limited.

Madubuike, who was listed as the fifth defendant, was arraigned in absentia as his counsel, Mr Napoleon Nwachukwu, informed the court that the accused was seriously sick.

In the four charges, the Federal Government accused the Chinese and their alleged accomplices of conspiring among themselves to import tyres, which did not meet the relevant Nigeria industrial standards.

The accused persons were said to have allegedly stuffed various sizes of tyres into one another, an act, the Federal Government said, constituted a danger to the Nigerian populace.

The defendants were said to have committed the alleged offence sometime in February 2017.

The offence, the prosecuting counsel for the AGF, Mr  Yusuff Lawan said, is contrary to and punishable under Section 26 (2)(b)(iii) of the Standards Organisation Act No. 14, 2015 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

However, when the charges were read and interpreted to the Chinese citizens by one Fred Guichu Zhong, from the Chinese High Commission in Nigeria, the defendants pleaded not guilty.

Their Nigerian co-defendants equally pleaded not guilty.

The presiding Judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, ordered their remand in prison till Tuesday.

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