By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, admitted bail to two Chinese and their Nigerian counterpart, who were charged for allegedly importing sub-standard automobile tyres worth about N5 billions, in the sum of N10 million with two sureties each in like sum.
The accused are Taolung Shen, Xu Jing Yao, and Chinedu Madubuike, and two companies, Sino Nigeria Limited, and Nedeca International Limited, were arraigned before the court by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on charges bordering on unlawful importation of substandard tyres valued N5 billion to the country.
The offence, the prosecuting counsel for the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Yusuff Lawan said, is contrary to and punishable under Section 26 (2)(b)(iii) of the Standards Organisation Act No. 14, 2015 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Ruling on the accused persons’ applications separately filed before the court by their lawyers, Victor Opara and Napoleon Nwachukwu, Justice Olatoregun stated that the two Chinese must submit both their international passports and residential permits to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).
The judge also ordered the two companies named in the charge, to submit Bond of N10 millions each to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court. While the sureties to be provided by the defendants must not be teacher, must resided within the jurisdiction of the court and also must show evidence of three years tax clearance.
Specifically, Justice Olatoregun told counsel to the two Chinese, Opara that he was known to be a reputable lawyer and should not degrade himself by bringing professional sureties before the court.
Opara commended the court for well considered ruling and promise not to disappoint the court.
The trial of the accused persons has been adjourned till May 15.
In the four charge, the Federal Government accused the Chinese and their alleged accomplices of conspiring “among yourselves to import tyres, which did not meet the relevant Nigeria industrial standards.”
The accused persons were said to have allegedly stuffed various sizes of tyres into one another, an act, the Federal Government said, constituted a danger to the Nigerian populace.
The defendants were said to have committed the alleged offence sometime in the month of February 2017.
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