The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Arraigning the accused on Thursday, the prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, informed the court that the accused and others listed in a charge numbered FHC/L/339c/18, conspired among themselves between September 6 to 20, 2017, illegally and unlawfully imported a total of 1570 pump action rifles into Nigeria, through Apapa Seaport, Lagos.
The prosecutor also told the court that the accused loaded the said 1570 pump action rifles in two 1× 20 feet containers marked GESU 2555208 and CMAU 1878178.
Furthermore Ajakaiye, told the court that the accused and others now at large, in a bid to illegally and unlawfully bring in the weapons, altered and forged a bill of lading, issued in July 28, 2017, to read Guandong, China, instead of Istanbul, Turkey, which was written on the conveying container.
Ajakaiye also told the court that the accused also altered Form M(application for Import) and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), issued in August 28, 2017, with number MF 20170080364 and CN 20170768490/001, respectively, to read Guandong, China instead of Istanbul, Turkey, as country of origin.
The accused were also alleged to altered a forged bill of lading numbered ISB0281398, issued in July 28, 2017, to read 230 packages of wash hand basin and W/C, as the content in the container used in shipping in the illegal firearms.
After the plea of the accuses had been taken, the prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending the determination of the charge.
Responding, lawyer to the accused, Mrs. I. F. Ekwoanya, despite not filing any processes before the court, while citing the authority of Abiola Vs FRN, urged the court to grant his client bail in a liberal term.
But the presiding judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, ordered the counsel to the accused to file her client’s bail application and depose to an affidavit stating the reasons why her client should be admitted to bail.
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