Language barrier stalls arraignment of 5 Guineans arrested in pangolin scale bust

Language barrier stalls arraignment of 5 Guineans arrested in pangolin scale bust 


The absence in court of a translator on Wednesday stalled the arraignment of five Guinean nationals arrested by officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for allegedly trying to export N22.3bn worth of pangolin scales and elephant tusks.

The accused were supposed to have been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, on a four-count charge raging from collecting, loading, exporting, transporting and keeping pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion.

The accused are Troare Djakonba, Muyribein Bereye, Isiaka Musa, Mohammed Bereta, and Sediki Berete

Briefing newsmen after the futile arraignment, NCS Legal Adviser, Smart Akande, said the accused are all non-English speaking foreign nationals and that the charges are expected to be read to the accused in a language they understand.

Akande said Thursday, August 26, 2021, has been set for a fresh arraignment and that hopefully a translator would be in court to read out the charges to all the accused persons.

Recall that the NCS, had on August 4, 2021, said it arrested three persons with different kilograms of Pangolin scales and Elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion in Lagos.

While displaying the seizures to newsmen in Lagos, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the 17,137.44 kilograms of pangolin scales packed in 196 sacks, 870.44 kilograms of elephant tusks and 4.6 kilograms of pangolin claws were evacuated at a location on Ijeoma Street, Lekki, Lagos after investigation and examination.