Officials of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have arrested seven suspects for illegal mining activities and seized five truckloads of minerals from the suspects.

The Anti-graft agency disclosed this in a statement posted on on Wednesday.

The statement partly reads, “The arrest, which followed credible intelligence and days of surveillance, was carried out on Friday, May 24, 2024, at Ogbomosho, Oyo State.

“The suspects are Waliyu Abidoye, Abubakar Auwal, Abdulrauf Hakim, Sabiu Usman, Salihu Godwin, Dauda Mohammed, and Olalekan Aremu.

“At the point of arrest, five truckloads of assorted minerals suspected to be lepidolite, lithium, and precious stones, among others, were recovered from the suspects.”

It further read that investigations revealed the suspects lacked the necessary licenses and permits for mining and mineral possession.

“They were also not paying royalties to the federal and state governments, as required by law,” it added.

The officials also arrested two others, Faleti Waheed and Noah Olalekan, for attempting to secure the release of one of the trucks with a N1.2 million bribe.

The statement added, “The duo of Waheed and Olalekan approached the EFCC operatives at the point of arrest and negotiated to give them money in order to have their seized truck released.

“The officers played along and got the suspects arrested at the point of delivering the money.”

The sum of N995,500 was said to have been recovered from Waheed, who claimed to be a gas station manager, while N201,000 was recovered from Olalekan, who claimed to be a scavenger.

The EFCC added that the suspects will be charged in court once the investigation is completed.

According to reports on May 18 that five illegal miners were arrested at the Izom Bridge along the Minna-Suleja Road in the Izom ward of Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State.

Punch/Adebukola Aluko


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