A Cameroonian, Fofou Dadjo Evariste, and a Nigerian, Babangida Mahmoud, have been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment, for unlawful possession, trading and warehousing of pangolin scales, by a Lagos Federal High Court.
The two convicts, were convicted and sentenced by Justice Yelim Bogoro, after they pleaded guilty to the amended charge filed against them by the legal department Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
They were arraigned before the court alongside one Olamilekan Adenekan, on a five count-charge charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession and trading of pangolin scales, and perverting the cause of justice.
While Adelakun was docked on charges of conspiracy, unlawful possession and trading in the pangolin scales, and unlawful assemble. The convicts were arraigned on conspiracy and perverting the cause of justice.
Precisely, the convicted Nigeria, Babangida Mahmoud, was slammed with conspiracy charge, while the Cameroonian, was charged for perverting the cause of justice, by taken the photographs undercover personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service, who conducted serve of the Pangolin scales which were kept in his warehouse.
The prosecutor, Mr. Michael Osong,told the court that the convicts and other, committed the offences between 2018 to 2022, at at No 12, ljora Causeway, Lagos State.
Mr. Osong also told the court that the offences committed by the convicts and others contravened section 516, of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And sections 3 of the National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) Regulations, 20 and punishable under section 4 of the same Regulations.
The prosecutor also said the offences contravened sections 11(b), 166, of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The convicts have pleaded not guilty when they were first arraigned before the court early this year,
However, the resumed trial on Thursday, the convicts, told the court of their intentions to change their plea, the decision which was acceded to by the court.
Upon their submissions to change their plea, the court ordered that the charge be re-read to them.
Following to the new plea, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence them in line with the sections of the NCS’ act they were charged with.
But their lawyers in their allucutor, urged the court to com be lenient in sentencing the convicts, having become remorseful of their act, and vowed not to engage in any form of criminality.
Justice Bogoro in her judgment, sentenced the two convicts to one year each. The judge however ordered the first convict, Babangida Mahmoud, to pay the sum of N100,000, while the second convict, Cameroonian, Fofou Dadjo Evariste, was ordered to pay the sum of N300,000,00, as fine option to the