Illegal mining: Osun government arrests 17 Chinese, 9 locals, traditional chief

Illegal mining: Osun government arrests 17 Chinese, 9 locals, traditional chief

- Osun state government has arrested 27 illegal miners, including 17 Chinese, 9 locals, and a traditional chief

- The deputy chief of staff to the state governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said the offenders will be prosecuted and be made to pay compensation

- Binuyo explained that apart from flouting the Covid-19 lockdown order, the illegal miners have also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals

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The Osun State Joint Task Force (JTF) has arrested 27 illegal miners in the state, comprising 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals, including a local traditional chief.

The arrested by task force recently inaugurated by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was made known in a statement posted on the state government's official Twitter page on Sunday, May 3.

Legit.ng gathers that the illegal miners were arrested following a coordinated sting operation around Ilesa and Ife axis of the state.

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In his reaction, the deputy chief of staff to the state governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said the state government will not fold its arms and watch its land to be degraded by unauthorised persons.

Apart from the economic leakages, the illegal miners had also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation, Binuyo said.

He added that apart from ensuring that those arrested are prosecuted, they will also be made to pay compensation.

Binuyo said those who arrested do not have genuine mining licences and they are not registered with the state government.

He said they will not only be prosecuted but also be made to pay damages.

According to the deputy chief of staff, they did not only flout the COVID-19 lockdown order but also caused environmental damage.

One of those arrested, May Zam, claimed she was not aware they were engaged in illegal mining.

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In a related development, two Chinese nationals were arrested by the Zamfara state police command for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the state.

The spokesperson of the command, Mohammad Shehu, disclosed this in a statement released on Monday, April 27.

Shehu said the two Chinese nationals, identified Messrs WANG and CHUN are being interrogated at the command.

“The Command had On 19th April, 2020 received information that some foreigners in concert with other unpatriotic Nigerians engaged in illegal mining activities in Kwali, Bukkuyum LGA of the state," Shehu said as he narrated how the illegal miners were arrested.

“On the strength of the information, on 20th April, 2020, the commissioner of police CP Usman Nagogo psc+ led a special task force team to Kwali mining sites to assess and see things for himself. The information proved to be credible one as hundreds of miners scattered as soon as they saw the team.

Police arrest two Chinese nationals over illegal mining in Zamfara (photos)

“Two labourers were however arrested who confirmed the presence of Chinese and Bulkinabe Nationals among others.

“On 25thth April, 2020 information had it that a Chinese and Bulkinabe Nationals are taking shelter somewhere in Nasarawa Burkullu," the police spokesman added.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Osun state government on Sunday, May 3, confirmed that a woman and her son had contracted COVID-19.

The infected persons are the wife and son of a man who recently died of the virus, according to Ismail Omipidan, the chief press secretary to Governor Oyetola.

Omipidan revealed that Rafiu Isamotu, the commissioner for health in the state, said that the cases were confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday, May 2.

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