By Funmi Olasopo, Abuja
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has recorded yet another victory in its war against trafficking in ivory, as a Federal High Court in Lagos jailed a Chinese and a Malian for attempting to export ivory products from Nigeria.
Johnson Monday (Chinese) and a Malian, Diarra Fousseyni were sentenced to six months imprisonment each with an option of fine of N100, 000.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary Sule Oyofo, stated “the duo were nabbed by Officers of the Nigerian Customs Service in May, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos while trying to smuggle out over 21 kilogrammes of processed ivory and elephant tusks.
“They were subsequently handed over to NESREA and were slammed with two count criminal charge each by the Agency.
“They were prosecuted before Hon. Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos by NESREA Legal team led by the Director, Legal Services of the Agency, Barrister Alabo Wokoma”.
Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Kurya sentenced the offenders to Six months imprisonment each with option of fine of N100, 000 for each of the two count charges.
The Judge also made an order repatriating the Malian and also the forfeiture of all the exhibits (worked pieces of ivory) to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The statement explained that trafficking in worked ivory is a contravention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).