News

N22.3BN ELEPHANT TUSKS, PANGOLIN CASE: COURT RULES ON BAIL SEPT 9

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.


DCO Global News
Published on September 2, 2021
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka you


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.



He stated that the only known address for the foreigners was the place of arrest in the Ajah area of Lagos adding that there was no known record of any other place where they can reside, a situation which makes the possibility of jumping bail higher.

In the likelihood that the court was minded to grant bail, the prosecutor asked the judge to impose stringent conditions which would guarantee their attendance at trial.

In countering the arguments, defence counsel Olayinka Lawal told the court that the defendants would not jump bail. He described as speculative the concerns that they would do so.


Lawal also drew the court’s attention to the fact that the defendants had relatives and friends in the country, some of whom had deposed to affidavits attached to their bail applications.

He prayed the court to exercise its discretion in their favour and grant bail which he says they were constitutionally entitled to enjoy.

After listening to the arguments, Justice Ringim adjourned till the 9th of Sept for his ruling.



By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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