Chinese on trial over bid to export Ivory

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A CHINESE woman, Liang Zuli, has been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged attempt to export Nigerian Ivory.

Zuli is being tried by the Federal Government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, for the offence.

The accused allegedly concealed the Ivory in a teddy bear doll, which the prosecution said, was specimen of the species prohibited from being exported from Nigeria and an offence under Section 7(1) of the National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) Regulations 2011. The offence is also punishable under Section 7(2) of the same law.

The accused, who lives in Lawanson area of Surulere, Lagos, the prosecution further said, erred for being in possession of the said Ivory, contrary to Section 7(3) of the National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) Regulations 2011, and punishable under Section 7(4) of the same regulations.

Zuli, who allegedly committed the offence on March 4, 2012, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge, which was read to her by the court registrar. The trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, remanded her in Kirikiri Prison custody and fixed hearing for Zuli’s bail application on Tuesday, March 13, 2011.

Counsel to the Chinese, 0bi Okwusogu (SAN), had prayed the court to remand her in protective custody in a hotel because of Zuli’s poor state of health.

But Justice Okeke rejected the plea and adjourned till Tuesday next week for the hearing on Zuli’s bail filed and served on the prosecution yesterday.

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