Court jails hunter 10 years for owning 2 single barrel guns | Dailytrust

Court jails hunter 10 years for owning 2 single barrel guns

Edet Akpan George, a 38-year-old hunter and father of eight has been jailed 10 years for illegal possession of firearms.

An Ibiono Ibom High Court in Akwa Ibom State presided by Justice Okon Okon, found George guilty of being in possession of firearms, contrary to Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Laws of the Federation 2004.

The law provides that an offender upon conviction, should either be sentenced to a fine of N20,000 or imprisoned for a period of not less than 10 years or both.

George was arrested by the police on September 18, 2019 on the allegation of possessing two locally-made single-barrel guns and a live cartridge without the necessary license.

The accused, who admitted in court that he had two guns and a bullet, saw nothing wrong in having the guns as a trained and professional member of an association of hunters.

He also claimed to have an identity card and certificate of participation in training programmes conducted in collaboration with the Nigeria Police.

In his judgment, Justice Okon said the convict in his evidence did not deny that he had guns but gave evidence that he inherited the guns from his father and mentioned what he used the guns for.

“The accused person appeared to the court to be a man of truth who obviously laboured under the false belief that he was entitled to own and possess guns without the need for the license being a professional hunter involved in community policing.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse in law. The accused person is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment or N20,000 fine.”

“The prosecution has by a largely uncontroverted evidence, proved beyond reasonable doubt, the essential ingredients of the offence of illegal possession of firearms against the accused.

“The offence of illegal possession of firearms is a strict liability and the burden is on the accused to prove that his possession of the firearms was lawful by producing the license that allowed him to have possession of the firearms,” the court stated.

 

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