EFCC nabs illegal miners, impounds 12 truckloads of lithium in Kwara

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command, said it impounded 12 trucks containing different types of solid minerals mined without a license in Kwara State.

While addressing the suspects in Ilorin on Tuesday, Michael Nzekwe, the Zonal Commander of EFCC, disclosed that the suspects were apprehended at various locations, including Patigi, Igbeti, and Ogbomoso areas adjacent to Kwara state.

Nzekwe explained that the offense carries a penalty of life imprisonment under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983.

He noted that many of the detained individuals were truck drivers, with some of them identifying foreign nationals and a few Nigerians as the masterminds behind the illegal activity.

Nzekwe issued a warning that the EFCC remains steadfast in its fight against corruption and is diligently working to dismantle networks of illegal mining operators nationwide.

“Aside from the law that frowns on illegal mining activities, the act is an economic sabotage capable of causing environmental devastation, socio-economic hardship, insecurity, banditry and a host of other vices.

“Preliminary investigations showed that the minerals suspected to be marble stone, white powder, lithium and lepidolite, among others, are being transported outside the country for production of goods at the expense of the Nigerian economy”, Nzekwe said, adding that the “Details of the registration number of the twelve trucks impounded by the anti-graft agency are: FG 179 6B, KWM 398 XA, TRE 419 YJ, ABC 795 XD, KWS 351 XC, ZUR 370 XJ, YL 667 XA, T3815 LA, AAA998XA, SHD 625XA and KWM 416 XA.

The Suspects arrested include; Nura Lawan, Tunde Jimoh, Sani Umar, Oyeleke Sunkanmi, Adegboyega Oluwashola, Mohammed Umar, Muhammed Abubakar, Dawud Muideen, Chukwu Okpara Idam, Ganiyu Roqeeb, Umina Umina, Nura Ibrahim, Isiyaku Jibril and Samaila Ibrahim.

Others are; Idris Isah, Abdullahi Adamu, Yusuf Auwal, Aminu Usman, Muhammed Musa, Yusuf Ibrahim, Abdullahi Sani, Ishola Mayowa Qudus, Zakariyau Yusuf, Abubakar Dauda, Mohammed A Mohammed, Soliu Mohammed, Sunday Adewale and Adeyemi Michael.

The rest are Idris Mohammed, Auwal Adam, Yusuf Ibrahim, Abdullahi Lawal, Damilare Samuel, Idris Oyeniran, Peter Gaya, Sulaiman Kabiru, Abdulwasiu Jimoh, Azeez Taofik, Isyaka Olalekan, Taofik Bello and Sadiq Murtala.”

He stated that after the current investigations are over, the suspects will be charged in court.