- 5 Nigerians are in court for importing 661 pump-action rifles into the country
- The sixth offender is currently at large and has been declared wanted
- They allegedly brought the guns in from Turkey through the Apapa Port in Lagos using a 40-feet container
Five Nigerian men have been arrested and charged to court for allegedly importing pump-action rifles into the country through the Apapa Port in Lagos.
The sixth accused is currently at large and is wanted by the government for his alleged involvement in the illegal importation.
The accused are Mahmud Hassan, Oscar Okafor, Donatus Achinulo, Salihu Danjuma and Matthew Okoye.
The accused allegedly lied that the consignment that ferried the guns were importing steel doors only for the port authority to discover otherwise, NAN reports.
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It said that to facilitate the illegal importation, the accused allegedly forged a number of documents including a Bill of Lading, a Form M and a pre-arrival assessment report.
According to the prosecution, in order to evade payment of customs duty, the accused allegedly forged a bill of laden issued at Istanbul on January 9, and claimed that it was issued at Shanghai, China.
In the forged bill of lading, they allegedly filled “steel door” as the content of the container instead of rifles.
They were also said to have allegedly offered a bribe of N400,000 to an official of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Federal Operative Unit, not to conduct a 100 per cent search on the 40-feet container.
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The prosecution also alleged that the first accused, (Hassan), corruptly gave N1 million to government officials at the Apapa Port in order to prevent the search of the container by Customs officials.
In the last count, the federal government alleged that the accused had between 2012 and 2016 illegally imported several double-barrel shotguns, pump-action rifles and single-barrel shotguns into the country.
The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 1(2)(c), 1(14) (a)(i) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2014.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Consequently, the Prosecutor, Mr K. A. Fagbemi applied that the accused be remanded in custody pending trial, and sought a date for trial.
Justice Faji adjourned till September 12 for definite hearing and ordered that the accused be remanded in the prison custody.
Meanwhile, the Benue state police command has uncovered an illegal firearms manufacturing company at Tse-Tyungu, Kyado district of Ukum local government area.
Legit.ng learnt that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the factory, but the main suspect is currently at large.
Benue state police commissioner, Bashir Makama, while parading the suspects said the discovery was made following a tip-off.
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