Ondo court remands 15 herdsmen over alleged illegal mining
An Akure Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ondo State, yesterday, remanded 15 herdsmen for alleged involvement in illegal mining.
The Fulani herdsmen were brought to court by operatives of the security network, codenamed Amotekun Corps.
They were alleged to have committed the offence on February 3, 2021 at Owo in the Akure Magisterial District of Ondo State.
The accused persons were Yesupa Masaubu, Kabiru Shuaibu, Abdullai Masuru, Jemiru Alasa, Sapianu Alaka, Saliu Haruna, Hulusa Sheibu, Habibu Mohammed, Iliasu Kabiru and Aminu Amadu.
Other defendants were Alikasehu Mohammed, Sifianu Musa, Habinu Muhammad, Aminu Halilu and Sanni Garba.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects collapsed in court.
The suspect, who regained consciousness after being given water, milk and malt, was ordered by the magistrate to be taken to hospital for proper treatment.
The state Prosecutor, Olusegun Akeredolu, alleged that all defendants trespassed on a part of government’s forest reserve outlawed by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
The prosecutor said: “They went to the forest and engaged themselves in illegal mining. They were arraigned on three counts: entering government forest reserve, violating governor’s rules and engaging themselves in illegal mining”.
Though the plea of all the defendants were not taken, the Defence Counsel, Chief Yemi Salau, made an oral bail application for his clients on the most liberal term, promising to provide reliable sureties.
But the prosecutor opposed the bail application, saying it is a great offence to violate the rules of the governor, adding that the court does not have jurisdiction to try the case.
He urged the court to remand the defendants in Owo and Ondo correctional centres pending the advice of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP.)
The Presiding Magistrate, Mr. Damilola Sekoni, ordered that the first to eighth defendants be remanded in Owo Correctional Centre while other defendants should be remanded in Ondo Correctional Centre .
He adjourned the case till March 26, 2021.
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