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N22.3bn elephant tusks, pangolin case: Court rules on bail Sept 9

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos will on September 9 rule on the bail applications of a Nigerian and two foreigners involved in the alleged N22.3billion elephant tusks and pangolin case.

Isiaka Musa and two Guineans, Traore Djakouba (Yakubu) and Mohammed Berete are charged with conspiracy and attempting to smuggle large quantities of elephant tusks, pangolin scales and claws out of Nigeria.

They were arraigned by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) last Thursday.

Justice Tijjani Ringim fixed the date after listening to the arguments of the prosecuting and defence counsel.

He took arguments on whether the counter affidavit submitted by the NCoS was competent as a result of the failure to affix the NBA stamp of the prosecuting counsel on the court documents.

The judge, in a bench ruling, agreed with prosecution counsel Smart Akande that shutting out the prosecution on this basis will amount to a technicality which will infringe on the agency’s fundamental rights.

Afterwards, Akande opposed the bail on the contention that there was compelling evidence to link the defendants to the crime. He also argued that two of them were foreigners who could jump bail if granted.

 

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