By Steve Agbota
The inability of the Federal High Court in Lagos to get a translator on Wednesday, stalled the scheduled arraignment of four Ghanaians paraded in Lagos recently by the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) over alleged pangolin smuggling.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, adjourned the arraignment until August 26, 2021, to make provision for an interpreter.
Speaking to newsmen after the court was adjourned, Mr Smart Akande, Legal Adviser to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), listed the names of the suspects as Murybine Berete, Traore Djakouba, Isiaka Musa, Mohammed Berete and Sediki Berete. He explained that during a recent inspection by Ali, he gave assurance that the matter, which had to do with smuggling of pangolins, would not be swept under the carpet.
According to him, the suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.
“Today, we are in court to arraign the suspects. But unfortunately, we could not proceed because some of them are foreigners and they are supposed to understand the charges before them,” he said. He added that the charges should be read in a language they understand so that they can give a plea.
“Because the interpreter was not available due to the fact that the court did not have the facility today, the matter was adjourned to August 26 for arraignment, hoping that the interpreter will be present to interpret the charges to them,” he said