Court jails ex-customs officer, others for importing 661 rifles | Dailytrust

Court jails ex-customs officer, others for importing 661 rifles

Justice Ayokunle Fajji sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos has convicted and sentenced a retired customs officer, Mahmud Hassan, and two others to 16 years imprisonment for conspiracy and unlawful importation of 661 pump-action rifles.

The two other persons convicted alongside Hassan are Oscar Okafor, Donatus Achinulo and Mahmud’s company, Hassan Trades Limited.

The court, however, acquitted and discharged one other defendant, Abdullahi Danjuma, of all the charges.

In the charge by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the accused brought the rifles from Turkey through the Apapa seaport in Lagos.

He added that the arms were imported in a 40-feet container, which they falsely claimed to be steel doors.

The convicts also forged some documents including a bill of landing, a Form M and a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report to facilitate the smuggling of the said rifles.

On count one, which was on conspiracy, Justice Faji found the first, second and third defendants guilty and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment each.

The court, therefore, ordered the forfeiture of the properties of the convicts to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Faji also ordered that the company, Hassan Trading Limited, used as a vehicle to smuggle the arms, be wound up and its assets forfeited to the federal government.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted the fifth defendant.

While delivering judgment, the judge held that the offence committed by the convicts bordered on the security of the country.

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