pump-action rifles

Owners of Illegally imported Arms Uncovered

Three individuals with residences in Abuja and Lagos own the company that has been fingered for the illegal importation of arms into the country earlier in the week, Daily Trust Reports.

The Nigeria Customs Service, on Thursday, named Great James Oil and Gas Ltd as the importer of the haul of 470 guns that was impounded at the Tin Can Island port last week, a week after a consignment of 1,100 weapons belonging to the same firm was seized at the same port

The Comptroller-General, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), said Great James Oil and Gas Ltd used a vessel, AVS Arkas Africa, to ferry the weapons into Nigeria. The Customs boss did not name the owners of the company.

Investigations revealed that Ayogu Cyril, Ayogu Kelvin and Ayogu Great James registered the oil firm as its directors on July 20, 2011. The company was registered with RC 968675.

The three directors used residential addresses in Kaura District of the Federal Capital Territory and Bariga area in Lagos, respectively, to register the business.

Cyril and Great James gave the address of a residential apartment, Suite 4, 4th Avenue, Prince and Princess Estate in Kaura District, Abuja while Kelvin gave the address of a residential apartment at No. 25 Bariga Road.

On Thursday, the Customs CG said the firm used the elbow plumbing plastic that it declared in the bill of lading to deceive officials about the concealed weapons.

He said the 470 weapons were found after officers had subjected the 20-foot container No. CMAU189817/8 to 100 per cent examination.

A meeting was scheduled Friday between Nigerian officials and their Turkish counterparts to discuss the rise in arms shipment to Nigeria from Turkey.

A total of 2,671 rifles, in four batches, were seized within the last eight months, all coming from Turkey, according to the Nigeria Customs Service.

Hameed Ali said his agency and other security outfits were investigating the reasons for the massive importation of arms into the country.

“We are yet to get to the bottom of the whole thing. Are these arms meant for commercial purposes, or meant to be given to a group of insurgents or agitators and kidnappers?” he said.

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