Businessman faces trial over alleged importation of 1,570 rifles

A federal High Court, Lagos, has remanded in prison custody a businessman, Ifeuwa Moses Christ, over alleged importation of 1,570 pump action rifles without lawful authority.

The businessman was arraigned by the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) with Ayogu Great James and Emeka Umeh Festus, who was said to be at large.Also charged before the court was an oil and gas company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited, located in Lagos.

All the accused persons were charged before the court on charges bordering on conspiracy, illegal importation of firearms and forgery and uttering of Customs’ import documents.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.The prosecutor, Julius Ajakaiye, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, told the court that the accused and others listed in a charge conspired among themselves between September 6 and 20, 2017 and illegally and unlawfully imported 1,570 pump action rifles into Nigeria through Apapa Seaport, Lagos.

Meanwhile, following their plea of not guilty, the prosecution counsel urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending the determination of the charge.

But counsel to the accused, Mr. C. J. Jakponna, despite not filing any processes before the court, urged the court to grant his client bail in a liberal term.The trial judge, Justice Saliu Seidu, however turned down his request, adjourned the matter till November 20 and 21, 2018 for commencement of trial and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.

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Ifeuwa Moses Christ
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