DSS, Customs officers mentioned in arms importation deal

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A retired assistant comptroller of customs and one of those standing trial for unlawful importation of 661 sophisticated pump action rifles into the country last December, has named names in the nation’s security agencies as collaborators.
Mamudu Hassan told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in Monday that he paid a sum of N1 million to officials of the Department of State Security, DSS, and other security agencies to smuggle the guns out of Apapa Ports.

The confession was recorded in a video during his interrogation by men of the DSS on March 27, 2017, between the hours of 2p.m., and 2.45p.m.
The video was tendered by an operative of DSS, Jaiye Emmanuel at the resumed trial-within-trial, during which Mamudu  gave account of how the N1 million was shared among DSS and other security agencies.
“I gave N1 million to facilitate the moving of the container out of port, but it is not because of the guns,” he said.
“The examiners were given N200,000; C.I.O. N100,000; Enforcement N200,000; Police, SSS — between N20, 000, N25, 000, and N30, 000; the two gates — N200,000; Exit gate, N20,000, and final gate N50,000.”
He also told the investigators in the video that he first agreed with the importer of the guns for N3.8 million, when he was first told that the consignments were steel doors.
The stakes however went up to N4 million when he was told that the consignment included 661 pump action guns.
The video recording was admitted in evidence.
The Nigeria Customs Service last June arraigned Mamudu and Salisu Danjuma, both customs officers, alongside Oscar Orkafor, Donatus  Achinulo and Matthew Okoye, before Justice Ayotunde Faji on charges of illegal importation of fire arms, conspiracy, forgery and altering of documents, offering of graft to government officials and importation of prohibited goods.
They were arrested January 30, 2017.
According to the prosecutor Julius Ajakaiye,  the offences contravene  Nigerian laws, and are punishable under Sections 3(6),1(14)(a)(I) 1(2) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Section 98(1) (b) of the Criminal Code Act. Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF in charge number FHC/L/190c/17, alleged that  all the accused persons conspired with one another to illegally import into Nigeria 661 Pump Action Rifles.
They were also alleged to have forged the documents which include: two Bills of Lading, one reads ‘Shanghai China,’ as Port of Loading, instead of ‘Istanbul.’
One of the counts reads: ‘Steel Doors’, as the contents of the container instead of Customs’ Form M, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) used in smuggling the said 661 rifles into the country. In particular, one of the Customs officials, Mamudu Hassan, was alleged to have corruptly offered the sum of N400,000 to one Aliu Musa, the Examination Officer of the Federal Operations Unit of the Customs Service with an intent to prevent one hundred percent search on a container marked PONU 825914/3, which was used in bringing the arms into the country.
He was also alleged to have corruptly given the sum of N1 million to government officials at Apapa Ports through his colleague, Danjuma Abdulahi, in order to prevent the searching of the said container used in bringing in the 661 illegally imported Pump Action rifles.
Further hearing continues Tuesday

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