Absence of interpreter stalled the arraignment of two Chinese men alleged to have imported substandard tyres into Nigeria on Wednesday.
In a four count charges filed before the court, the Federal Government had alleged that Taolung Shen, 36, Xu Jimg Yao, 22 of Sino Nigeria Import and Export Limited, Nedeca international Limited respectively and one Chinedu Madubuike sometimes in the month of February, 2017, in Lagos conspired to import tyres which did not meet the relevant Nigeria industrial Standards through means of stuffing various sizes of tyres into one, knowing same to be in a dangerous state or injurious to life of human beings.
All the accused persons and the two companies same time and place were also alleged to have failed to furnish returns of imported tyres as required by law.
All the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons and the companies are contrary to and punishable under section 32(1) of the standard organization of Nigeria Act 14,2015 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
When the case was mentioned, the prosecutor Mr. Babatunde Alajogun applied to the court for the charge to be read to the accused persons.
But the defence lawyer, Mr Victor Opara leading four other lawyers told the court that the two accused Chinese do not understand English language, and he was in the process of securing Chinese interpreter for them through Chinese Embassy when the case was brought to court.
As to who is to represent the Chinese company charged along with the accused persons, Mr Opara told the court that the first accused person Taolung Shen is an employee of Sino Nigeria import and Export Limited, but the Managing Director of the company simply call Tony is in China.
The Presiding Judge Mojisola Olatoregun said the pleas of the accused persons cannot be taken until the issue of interpreter is resolved.
Thereafter, Mr Alajogun urged the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody pending the time the prosecution will secure an interpreter,but justice Olatoregun while frowning at this request,”said am not a persecutor while do you want me to remand them in prison custody when their pleas have not been taken,”
Mr Opara then told the court that, “The court should grant short adjournment to enable him secure an interpreter that will be acceptable to both the prosecution and the defence counsels. Mr Alajogun did not raise any objection.
Consequently, Justice Olatoregun adjourned till 20th of March, 2017 for the arraignment of the accused persons when interpreter must have been procured.