Three smugglers bag 16-year jail term for importing 661 pump action rifles

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday convicted and sentenced a retired Customs Officer, Mahmud Hassan, and two others, to a total of 16 years imprisonment for conspiracy and unlawful importation of 661 Pump Action rifles, unlawful importation of prohibited firearms, forgery, uttering of forged documents, and bribery.

Others convicted and sentenced to jail terms by Justice Ayokunle Faji led-court are Oskar Okafor; and Mahmud’s company, Hassan Trades Limited. Justice Ayokunle Faji, however, acquitted and discharged Abdulahi Danjuma of all charges. The fourth defendant in the case, Mr. Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo, had been discharged and acquitted on a no-case submission stage on February 7, 2020. The trial lasted almost four years in the course of which the first prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaye, and one of the defence counsel, Adamu Ibrahim, passed on.

Justice Faji while delivering judgment in a charge brought against the convicts on count two of the offence of illegal importation of 661 Pump Action rifles into the country, sentenced them to eight years imprisonment each on the said count. On count one which was on conspiracy, Justice Faji found the first, second and third defendants guilty and also sentenced them to eight years imprisonment each.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the properties of the convicts to the Federal Government of Nigeria as provided for by the law under which they were charged.

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