Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos, today admitted bail to two Chinese and a Nigerian, who were docked for allegedly importing sub-standard automobile tyres worth about N5 billion, in the sum of N10 million with two sureties each in like sum.
The accused are Taolung Shen, Xu Jing Yao and Chinedu Madubuike.
Others included in the charge are two companies; Sino Nigeria Limited and Nedeca International Limited.
They were arraigned by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
However, when the charge were read and interpreted to the Chinese by one Fred Guichu Zhong, from the Chinese High Commission in Nigeria, the defendants pleaded not guilty, the Nigerian also pleaded not guilty as well.
The court while ruling on the bail applications separately filed by the defence’ counsels, Victor Opara and Napoleon Nwachukwu, the trial judge, Justice Olatoregun stated that the two Chinese should submit both their international passports and residential permit to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar .
The judge also ordered the two companies named in the charge to submit bond of N10 million each.
On the sureties to be provided by the defendants, the court stated that the two sureties for each defendants must not be teacher, must resided within the jurisdiction of the court and also must show evidence of three years tax clearance.
The court specifically, told the counsel to the two Chinese, Opara that he was known to be a reputable lawyer and should not degrade himself by bringing professional sureties before the court.
Opara commended the court for well considered ruling and promise not to disappoint the court.
The court therefore, fixed May 15, for trial.
In the four charge, 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 Nigerian populace.
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, is contrary to and punishable under Section 26 (2)(b)(iii) of the Standards Organisation Act No. 14, 2015 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004