440 guns Intercepted at the Tin Can Island port, Lagos-Nigeria
The use of guns is illegal in Nigeria. Only the armed forces are legally allowed to use them on relevant cases. The country has wondered why Pump Action Rifles should be imported into the country with an illegal documentation.
Recently, a container intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday at the Tin Can Island port, Lagos, was loaded with 440 arms and ammunition of various sizes and designs, the Nigeria Customs Service has said. This has thrown many Nigerians in dismay, wondering what the importation of a large number of guns could be meant for.
In addition, Monday Abue, Zonal Commander, Tin Can Island Command, said the container with registration number PONU 210024/1 was shipped from Turkey and routed through the Lagos port.
Mr. Abue further explained that the consignment was declared as Plaster of Paris by the importer. This is just a way to boycott every necessary search which eventually ended at a loss for the shipper. He also added that it was intercepted by the Customs based on intelligence report and that investigations were ongoing to uncover the shipper. The Nigerian custom service stated that the importer will be caught and arrested soon as investigation is thoroughly on going.
It was confirmed by Mr. Abue that the intercepted 440 pieces of pump action rifles were manufactured in the United States of America and Italy.
“They are pump action rifles of various designs and also the single barrel device that you are familiar with.We have arrested one defendant but due to security reasons, we don’t want to make it public for now because such information could hamper investigations which are still ongoing,” he added.
Nigerians are optimistic to know the shipper of this illegal goods. Some feel the importation could be a way to increase the level of robbery and assassination in the country, while some Nigerians applauded the custom service for effectively carrying out their duties by intercepting such illegal importation that could have done huge harm to the country.
The Nigerian Fire Arms Act (1990) provides that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm or ammunition except such person has a license from the President or from the Inspector General of Police.
However, the Nigerian constitution states:
No person shall import any firearms or ammunition into Nigeria by sea or by air or export the same therefrom by sea or by air except through a port which is a port for the purposes of the customs laws or an airport duly designated under the civil aviation laws nor import or export the same by land except through a prescribed town adjacent to the land frontier or by the shortest route from the nearest part of the frontier to such a prescribed town”. Anyone found guilty of this will be severely penalised.
Nigerian custom service has assured Nigerians to worry less. It stated that the importer of the ammunition will be arrested soon and that due punishment will be accorded.