From Ado Abubakar Musa Jos
Security operatives on Wednesday re-arrested Alh. Abdullahi Adamu alias Dan-china after a Jos Federal High Court granted him interim-bail along with 15 Chinese nationals and 8 others in a case of alleged illegal mining.
The Federal Government had arrested Dan-china and 24 others and charged them before the Presiding Judge, Justice Musa Kurya on a four-count-charge of alleged illegal mining activities at Zurak in Wase Local Government of Plateau.
The government alleged that the accused persons had sometimes between 2015 and 2017 carried some illegal mining activities and disposing the minerals found there and thereby committed offences contrary and punishable under sections 3 (6) and 1(8)(b) of Miscellaneous offences act Cap M17, laws of Nigeria 2004.
The offences were also said to be contrary and punishable under sections 131 (a)(d) of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.
When the case came up for mention on Wednesday before Kurya, the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Ali Alilu, asked the court to read the charges for the accused for them to take their pleas.
When the charges were read the all the accused persons, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Ali Alilu and the lead defence Counsel, Mr Paul Erokoro had argued over the bail for the 25 accused persons quoting from different authorities to buttress their claims before the judge.
Justice Kurya, however, granted interim-bail to all the accused in self-recognition of Mr Erokoro, whom he directed to ensure he produced them on the next adjourned date to be taken.
“The 1st accused must deposit his international Passports with the court as pre-condition for the interim-bail since the international passport of the Chinese nationals is with the Police.
“ Leanered Silk is expected to produce the all the accused persons in court on the nexgt adjourned date. Failure to do so this case would not go on.
“This interim-bail is to enable this court study the arguments proffered and documents of both counsels for me to rule on the bail application made the defence counsel, ’’ Kurya said.
The judge then adjourned the case to May 16, 2018 for ruling on the bail application.
But shortly after the judge rose and the bail conditions were met, heavily armed security operatives swooped on Dan-china and whisked him away with Three Hilux Vans and allegedly headed to the office of the NSA in Abuja following an alleged order from above.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after his (Dan-china) re-arrest, Erokoro described the action as “very crude’’ and “unfortunate’’ in a democratic government.
“We are witnessing the other side of a democratically elected government, which is not good for us when the whole world is watching. What is happening here? ’’ he lamented.