Three Smugglers Bag 16-Year Jail Term For Importing 661 Pump Action Rifles – Channels Television

A file image of a court docket gavel.   A Federal High Court docket sitting

A file image of a court docket gavel.

 

A Federal High Court docket sitting in Lagos on Friday convicted and sentenced a retired Customs Officer, Mahmud Hassan, and two other people, to a overall of 16 decades imprisonment for conspiracy and unlawful importation of 661 Pump Motion rifles, illegal importation of prohibited firearms, forgery, uttering of forged files, and bribery.

Other folks convicted and sentenced to jail conditions by Justice Ayokunle Faji led-courtroom are Oskar Okafor and Mahmud’s organization, Hassan Trades Minimal.

Justice Ayokunle Faji, nevertheless, acquitted and discharged Abdulahi Danjuma of all costs.

The fourth defendant in the situation, Mr. Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo, had been discharged and acquitted on a no-situation submission phase on February 7, 2020.

The trial lasted just about 4 many years in the system of which the 1st prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaye, and a person of the defence counsel, Adamu Ibrahim, handed on.

Read ALSO: Nigerian Customs Intercepts 661 Pump Motion Rifles

Justice Faji whilst offering judgment in a charge introduced versus the convicts on count two of the offence of unlawful importation of 661 Pump Motion rifles into the state, sentenced them to eight yrs imprisonment just about every on the reported rely.

On count a single which was on conspiracy, Justice Faji found the initially, second and third defendants guilty and also sentenced them to eight a long time imprisonment each.

The decide also requested the forfeiture of the properties of the convicts to the Federal Government of Nigeria as furnished for by the legislation beneath which they were being billed.

He also ordered that the corporation, Hassan Trading Constrained, be utilised as a auto to smuggle, be windup and assets forfeited to FG.

Justice Faji, even so, discharged and acquitted the fifth defendant.

Although offering the judgement, Justice Faji, claimed the offence fully commited by the convicts touches on the protection of the state.

He included that though the suitable provisions of the regulation for the offence for which they have been charged and convicted recommended daily life imprisonment, the courtroom, having said that, has discretion.

The trial judge said he would refrain from giving a highest punishment, but that the convicts have to be created illustrations to serve as a deterrent for other would-be criminals.

Justice Faji notably frowned at the perform of the 2nd convict, a retired Customs Officer, expressing that if the container was not intercepted and the guns fell into the fingers of criminals in the culture, the adverse outcome can only be imagined.

The convicts were arraigned just before the courtroom for illegally importing 661 pump-motion rifles into the nation.

The convicts, who had been arraigned in advance of Justice Ayokunle Faji are Mahmud Hassan, Oscar Okafor, and Salihu Danjuma, even though the fifth defendant, Matthew Okoye, was explained to be at significant.

In the cost, the Legal professional Normal of the Federation and Minister of Justice stated the accused brought the rifles from Turkey through the Apapa Port in Lagos.

He added that they have been imported in a 40-ft container, which they falsely claimed to be steel doorways.

The convicts had been also alleged to have solid a variety of paperwork, together with a bill of lading, a Form M, and a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report to facilitate the smuggling of the said rifles.

In accordance to the prosecution, they also cast a invoice of lading issued in Istanbul on January 9, 2017, falsely claiming that it was issued in Shanghai, China.

He stated their intention was to evade the payment of customs obligation by filling “steel door” as the content of the container as an alternative of rifles.

They were also said to have allegedly made available a bribe of N400, 000, 00, to an formal of the Nigeria Customs Provider (NCS) connected to the Federal Operative Unit to stay away from a “100 per cent lookup on the container with amount PONU 825914/3.”

The prosecution also alleged that the first convict, Hassan, corruptly gave N1 million to governing administration officials at the Apapa Port to reduce the lookup by customs officers.

In the final depend, the AGF accused the convicts of illegally importing several double-barreled shotguns, pump-motion rifles, and solitary-barreled shotguns into the region as a result of Lagos, without having lawful authority amongst 2012 and 2016.

They, nonetheless, pleaded not guilty when the fees had been read through to them.

The judge said the sentence shall run concurrently the convicts have been sentenced on rely 1 and two other counts struck out.