Nigerian Customs Service Arraigns American Over Unlawful Importation Of Firearms

The American, who claimed to be a former United States Marine, was arraigned before Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on four counts.

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

The American, who claimed to be a former United States Marine, was arraigned before Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on four counts.

The counsel for the prosecution, Mrs Kehinde Bode-Ayeni told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in February 2023 at Tin Can Island, Apapa, Lagos.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations.

Members of the corps are known as Marines.

Bode-Ayeni listed the arms and ammunition the defendant was found in possession of as one piece of 5.56mm AK-47, styled rifle (Tavor) serial No. 1452 with three magazines and one drum, one piece of AK-47 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 that Perkins 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 AK-47, 7.62mm special live ammunition, 39 rounds of 22mm live ammunition, 47 rounds of 45mm automatic live ammunition, 1 round of .40mm live 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 is punishable under section 27 (1) (a) (lil) of the same Act.

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

Jaiyeola told the court that her client was an Ex-US Marine and only came to stay in Nigeria with the arms and ammunition found with him.

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

Justice Awogboro, after listening to the counsel’s submissions, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the NCOS.

The judge adjourned the matter till June 6 and 7 for the commencement of the defendant’s trial.

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