N5bn fake tyres: Chinese, Nigerian get N10m bail
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday granted a N10m bail to each of the two Chinese nationals and a Nigerian who allegedly imported substandard automobile tyres worth about N5bn into the country.
The accused persons are Taolung Shen, Xu Jing Yao and Chinedu Madubuike.
They were charged along with two companies, Sino Nigeria Limited and Nedeca International Limited.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had on Monday arraigned the five defendants on four charges.
On Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, admitted the defendants to a N10m bail each with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge ordered the Chinese to deposit both their residence permit in Nigeria and their passports.
The two sureties, the judge said, must be within the court’s jurisdiction.
She adjourned till May 15, 2017 for commencement of trial.
In the charges, 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 lives of Nigerians.
The defendants were said to have committed the alleged offence sometime in the month of February 2017.
The offence, the prosecuting counsel for the AGF, Mr. Yusuff Lawan, said, was contrary to and punishable under Section 26 (2)(b)(iii) of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act No. 14, 2015 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
However, on Monday when the charges were read and interpreted to the Chinese citizens by one Fred Guichu Zhong, from the Chinese High Commission in Nigeria, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
Their Nigerian co-defendants equally pleaded not guilty.