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Court Convicts Two For Importation Of Firearms



By Felix Kuyinu


Two men have been sentenced to two years imprisonment for unlawful importation of firearms into Nigeria.


The two offenders: Ifeuwa Christ and Ayogu James were said to have imported 1570 pump action rifles into the country.

Justice Ambrose Alagoa of Lagos Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, rule that the convicted business also pay the sum N1 million on each of the counts against them as fine in lieu of the jail terms.

The judge gave the judgment, based on the plea bargain agreement reached between the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and counsel to the two lawbreakers, Barrister Yakubu Galadima.

The court maintained that the two convicts alongside their company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited, were first arraigned in 2018 in a proceeding presided over by Justice Salisu Saidu on an eight count-charge of conspiracy, unlawful Importation of the 1570 pump action rifles and forgery and uttering of Customs’ import documents.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Julius Ajakaiye are contrary to and punishable under Section 3(6), 1(14)(a), 1(14)(a)(i), 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.


The duo pleaded guilty to the charges but Justice Saidu ordered that they should be remanded in the prison custody, on the ground that the charges against them bothered on ‘national security’.

However, upon the retirement of Justice Saidu, the matter was reassigned to Justice Mohammed Liman, now sitting in another jurisdiction of the court.

Following the transfer of Justice Liman (who is now late) to another jurisdiction of the court, the convicts’ case file was reassigned to Justice Allagoa, who started the matter denovo on a fresh note.

Upon their re-arraignment before Justice Allagoa, the convicted businessmen, signified their intentions to change their earlier not guilty plea to guilty to the charges.

At the resumed hearing of the charge, on Friday, counsel to the convicts, Yakubu Galadima, informed the court that his clients and the prosecuting Ministry, have reached a plea bargain agreement.


The terms of the agreement dated and filed April 5, 2024, and endorsed by the convicts and the prosecutor, Ronke Imana, reads as follows: “That the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (Prosecution) having had due regard to the nature and circumstances of this case in relation to the defendants and the interest of the larger community.

“That the second and third defendant shall plead “guilty” to the offences as stated in the charge.

“That the second defendant and third defendant undertakes to be of good behaviour.

“Upon conviction by the Honourable Court, sentencing shall be at the direction of the Honourable Court. However, the prosecution recommends six (6) years jail term with effect from the date of arrest on all counts count and to run concurrently.”

Based on the plea bargain agreement, Justice Lewis-Alagoa initially sentenced each of the convicts to six years imprisonment, commencing from the date of arrest. However, while reading his judgement held that he will be considering the fact that the defendants are first time offenders and the fact that they have being in custody for three years. He therefore sentence the defendants to two years imprisonment on each of the eight counts amended charge.


The court also ordered that both the sentences and the monetary fine shall run concurrently.