8 docked for alleged importation of harmful electronics

Eight directors of different private companies alongside six companies were yesterday re-arraigned at a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos over alleged importation of harmful electrical and electronics waste into the country.

The accused are Gilbert Orakwe, Mike Igweonu, Jude Madukaibe, Ebokam Clement, Anthony Obi, Moses Eyisi, Johnson C. Nwoye and Lawrence Nwaogbo.

The companies are C. Ganaco Investment Ltd, Ugo M. Commercial ventures Ltd, Judon Global Links Ltd, Chris Maritime Agency Ltd, Jaco United Company Ltd and Eminok Resources International Ltd.

The accused were re-arraigned on an amended charge of importation of harmful waste.

The Prosecutor, Mrs. Blessing Ezeife, told the court that accused committed the offence on Oct. 10, 2010, at their different places of business in Lagos.

Ezeife said that the accused places of business include Kirikiri road in Apapa, Lagos, Alaba International market; Randle road in Apapa, KM 10, Dantata in Badagry Expressway, and Akowonjo area of Lagos.

She said that the accused allegedly imported into Nigeria harmful electrical and electronic waste contrary to Section 1, of the Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act Cap H1, Laws of the Federation 2004, and punishable under Section 6 of same Act.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty.

The accused were first arraigned in 2011, and the case was slated for commencement of trial on June 18. The prosecutor, however, told the court that her witnesses were not present in court, and urged the court to adjourn the case to ensure that the witnesses were available.

Counsel to the accused, T. O. Taiwo, however, opposed the application for adjournment and urged the court to strike out the case for want of diligent prosecution.

The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, adjourned the case to Oct. 28, for trial and warned the prosecutor to put her house in order.

The accused had during the first arraignment been granted bail by the court with one surety each. The surety must have a landed property in Lagos.

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