EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on April 9, 2019, arraigned eight suspected members of a syndicate of illegal gold dealers before Justice A.O. Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
They were arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on dealing in gold mine without lawful authorization, conspiracy and being in possession of raw gold without lawful authorization. .
The suspects are: Babagana Zannah, who claimed to be the owner of the raw gold bars; Ahmed Hamza Mannir; Manasseh Auta; Dahiru Habib Bali; Isa Umaru Ammani; Ajakaye Oladipo; Bamanja Jonah Samuel and Lasisi Aisha.
The second suspect, Mannir, who was arrested onboard an Emirates flight to Dubai on March 1, 2019 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, was allegedly helped by the third to eight defendants, who are employees of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
The suspected FAAN staff allegedly carried the raw gold bars through various doors, while carefully avoiding going through the scanners provided at the airport and handed them to the second defendant at the point of boarding.
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against them. Justice Faji adjourned the case to April 16, 2019 for ruling on the bail applications and ordered the defendants to be remanded in prison custody.