661 Pump Action Rifles: 2 Customs Officials, 3 Others Charged For Illegal Arms Importation

* Scales of Justice * Source: Iconfinder

Two officials of Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), and three clearing agents were today, charged before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on nine counts charge bordering on conspiracy, importation of prohibited firearms, uttering of documents, forgery, corruption, and importation of prohibited goods.
The two Customs Officials are: Mahmud Hassan, and Salihu Abdulahi Danjuma, while the three Clearing Agents are: Oscar Okafor, Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo, and Matthew Okoye.
However, among all the five defendants, only Matthew Okoye was not present in court.
AGF in charge number FHC/L/190c/17, alleged that all the accused persons conspired with one another to illegally import into Nigeria 661 Pump Action Rifles.
They were also alleged to have forged the documents which includes: two Bill of Ladings, one reads ‘Shanghai China’, as Port of Loading, instead of ‘Istanbul’, and another one which reads: ‘Steel Doors’, as the contents of the container instead oIm Customs’ Form M, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) used in smuggling the the said 661 rifles Into the country.
In particular, one of the Customs Officials, Mahmud Hassan, was alleged to corruptly offered the sum of N400, 000.00, to one Aliu Musa, the Examination Officer of the Federal Operation Unit of the Customs Service with an intent to prevent 100 per cent search on a container marked PONU 825914/3, which was used in bringing into the country the said arms.
Mahmud Hassan was also alleged to have corruptly gave the sum of N1 million to Government officials at Apapa Port, through his colleague, Danjuma Abdulahi, in order to prevent the searching of the said container used in bringing in the 661 illegally imported Pump Action rafles.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Kehinde Adesola Fagbemi, are contrary to and punishable under sections 3(6), 1(14)(a)(I) 1(2) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And section 98(1) (b) of the Criminal Code Act.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the counts of the charge.
Following their plea of not guilty, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, while urged the court to remand the accused persons in Prison’s custody pending trial.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Ayotunde Faji, while ordering that the accused persons be remanded in Prison custody, adjourned the matter till September 12, 2017, for commencement of trial.

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