Gang Deng, a 29-year-old Chinese national, was convicted by Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court in Ilorin.
The Chinese was sentenced to five years in prison for illegal mining and mineral possession without legal authority.
On September 9, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission apprehended him along Tsaragi Road in Share, Edu LGA of Kwara State (EFCC).
The convict was discovered with 25 tons of minerals suspected to be Lepidolite, which is used to make batteries for automobiles, cell phones, cameras, and other electronic devices.
According to the EFCC, the Chinese man, the Managing Director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd, admitted to the crime.
The Chinese and his company were arraigned before Justice Sani on a single count amended charge.
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The defendant pleaded guilty in court but entered a “not guilty plea” for his company.
According to the charge, Geng purchased 25 tons of mineral worth N2,490,000 and transported it in a DAF truck without legal authority (Reg KLRAD85XCOE603462).
The offense violated Miscellaneous Offences Act 1984 Section 1 (8) (b).
Following the presentation of evidence, EFCC counsel Innocent Mbachie reviewed the facts and urged the court to rule accordingly.
Justice Sani considered Geng’s counsel’s allocutus, which pleaded for clemency on the grounds that the convict was a first-time offender.
The judge sentenced Geng to 5 years in prison and a N1 million fine.
Sani ordered the forfeiture of the 25 tons of mineral recovered from him to the Federal Government.
The hearing in the case of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd was postponed until November 17, 2022.
Mining without a license is a felony in Nigeria. Economic sabotage carries a life sentence for offenders.