For allegedly importing 1,570 pieces of pump action rifles illegally into Nigeria, a Federal High Court sitting on Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday ordered the remand of a clearing agent, Ifeuwa Moses Christ.
The Federal Government had arraigned the clearing agent on an 8-count charge of illegal firearms importation and forgery.
Upon his arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Afterwards, prosecution lawyer, Julius Ajakaye, sought for a trial date and urged the court to order the defendant’s remand.
The defence lawyer, C. J. Jiakeonna, orally applied that the defendant should be admitted to bail on liberal terms having being in custody of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for over six months after his arrest.
The lawyer added that he did a lot before his client could appear in court for his arraignment.
While adjourning the matter to 21st of November, 2018, for commencement of trial, Justice Saidu asked the defence lawyer to file a formal bail motion for his client.
In the charge marked, FHC/L /339C/2018, the defendant was accused of illegally conspiring with Great James Oil and Gas Ltd, Ayogu Great James and Emeka Umeh Festus a.k.a. Amankwa (said to be at large) to import 1,570 pieces of pump action rifles into Nigeria between the 6th and 20th November, 2017, using a 1 by 20ft container marked GESU 2555208.
The defendant was also said to have in conjunction with others altered a forged bill of lading marked, ISB0281398 issued on 28th July, 2017, to read GUANGDONG- CHINA instead of ISTANBUL- TURKEY on a 1 by 20ft container GESU 2555208 with intent that it will be used and acted upon as genuine by customs officers.
They were also alleged to have forged a bill of lading marked, ISB0281398 issued on 28th of July, 2017, to read “230 packages of wash hand basin and W/C with form ‘M’ number MF20170080364 as the content of a 1 by 20ft container marked GESU 2555208.
The offences are contrary to Section 1 (14) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 of the Laws of the Federation 2004 as well as Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under same section of the same Act.