Illegal mining: Defendant collapses as court remands 15 in prison

One of the 15 illegal miners, Hulusa Sheibu,  arrested by men of the Ondo State Security Network, Amotekun, in Owo,  the headquaters of Owo Local Government Area, on Tuesday, collapsed in the court room.

It took the efforts of  security men and the court clerks to revive the accused while court proceedings were halted for almost 30 minutes.

However, he was  referred to the Police Hospital in Akure, the state capital, for  treatment.

The 15 accused were arrested in Owo by the Amotekun Corps    for illegal mining in about 50 mining spots  recently.

The accused include, Hulusa Sheibu, Yesupa Masaubu, Kabiru Shuaibu, Abdullai Masuru, Jemiru Alasa, Sapianu Alaka, Saliu Haruna, Hulusa Sheibu, Habibu Mohammed, Iliasu Kabiru and Aminu Amadu.

Other defendants are Alikasehu Mohammed, Sifianu Musa, Habinu Muhammad, Aminu Halilu and Sanni Garba.

The State Prosecutor, Olusegun Akeredolu, told the court that the accused were arrested for trespassing on a part of government forest reserves prohibited by the state government.

According to him,  all the accused went to the forest and engaged themselves in illegal mining and were arraigned before the court on three counts charge of illegal entering of government reserve, violating the state government order and engaging in illegal mining.

The defence counsel, Chief Yemi Salau, made an oral bail application for the defendants on liberal term, promising to provide reliable sureties.

But the prosecutor opposed the bail application, saying it is a great offence to violate the state government order while he argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to try the offenders.

He, however, prayed the court to remand the defendants in Owo and Ondo Correctional centres pending the outcome of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP’s) investigation.

However, the plea of all the defendants were not taken and the Presiding Magistrate, Mr Damilola Sekoni, ordered that the  first to the  eight defendants be remanded in Owo Correctional Centre.

He also ordered that other defendants should be remanded in Ondo Correctional Centre and adjourned the case till March 26.

 

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