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Customs Arraign American Over Unlawful Firearms Importation

An American, Donn Perkins, was Thursday, arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, over alleged unlawful unlawful importation of firearms.

The American, who claimed to be a former United State Marine, was arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on a four-count charge of the offences.

The prosecutor, Mrs. Kehinde Bode-Ayeni, while arraigning the defendant, told the court the he was arrested sometimes in February 2023, at the Tin-can Island, Apapa, Lagos.

Mrs. Bode-Ayeni listed the arms and ammunition the defendant arrested with as: one piece of 5.56mm AK47, styled rifle (Tavor) serial No. 1452 with three magazines and one drum, one piece of Ak47 7.62mm variant serial No: 9335724 with four magazines, Ruger magnum .357 Revolver with serial No. 17819337, Ruger 380 pistol with serial no; 79047837 and XD 45 pistol with serial No. BY558431 and two magazines.

She also told the court the American illegally brought into the country: a total of 1,064 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition, 119 rounds of .357mm live ammunition, 62 rounds of.32mm automatic ammunition, 29 rounds of 9mm live ammunition, 25 rounds of AK47 7.62mm special live ammunition, 39 rounds of 22mm live ammunition, 47 rounds of 45mm automatic live ammunition, 1 round of .40mm live of ammunition and 54 rounds of .380mm Ruger live ammunition.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendant concealed the arms and ammunition in a 1x20ft Container No: TGHU0S010362 and illegally brought them into the country through Tin-Can Island, Apapa, Lagos.

The prosecutor told the court that the offence committed by the defendant contravened sections section 18 and 19 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (As amended), and punishable under section 27 (1) (a) (lil) of the same Act.

The American whoever pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Upon his not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked for a trial date, and also urged the court to remand him in prison custody till the determination of the charge.

However, defendant’s lawyer, Blessing Jaiyeola, pleaded with the court to remand her client in the complainant’s custody, till when she will file his bail application.

Jaiyeola told the court that her client was an Ex-Us marine, only came to stay in Nigeria with the items arrested with him.

She therefore pleaded with the court for a short date, to enable her file the bail application.

Justice Awogboro, after listening to the counsel’s submissions, ordered that the defendant be remanded at the custody of the NCOS, while adjourned the matter till June 6 and 7, for commencement of the defendant’s trial.

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