Four illegal miners arrested inside the premises of the College of Education, Minna, have been jailed nine months each, by a Minna Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The suspects – Mohammed Sani, Tanko Bala, Dahiru Idris and Sani Idris – were arraigned over alleged trespass and illegal mining, contrary to section 1 (8) b of the miscellaneous act 2004 laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Mr Philip Ayuba, Commandant of the Niger Sector of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who arraigned the suspects, said that they were arrested on April 21, while committing the offence in the college.
“The illegal miners were arrested after several warnings resulting from complaints by the college authorities.
“The school had said that the miners were degrading its land.
“The school also alleged that the illegal miners had constituted a security threat to the students,” he told the court.
Ayuba further told the court that the law stipulated nine months imprisonment or N15,000 fine, on conviction.
When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the accused pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of trespass and illegal mining, and were accordingly sentenced by the Chief Magistrate, Mr Gimba Gabi.
Gabi said that the judgement would serve as a deterrent to others fond of degrading the natural habitat and carting away rich mineral resources that were supposed to serve as revenue sources for the state.