A 52-year-old United States of America (USA) based Nigerian man arrested for illegal possession of firearms Friday said some policemen sold the guns to him.
Ailabojie Aikpaojie was paraded at the police command Headquarters in Ikeja after he was found with three pump action rifles.
According to the police, he was arrested by the Area D Commander, Mushin, on Tuesday for illegally possessing a Beretta pistol.
The police said he was arrested around 3pm on June 22, at block 52, plot 19m, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
They said: “He was arrested with a Parabellium Baretta pistol with nine 9mm live ammunition. He could not give a satisfactory account of where he got them from. Another search in his house led to the recovery of three long single barrel pump action guns with 250 cartridges. The suspect would soon be charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms.”
According to the suspect, he bought the pistol in the US and brought it to Nigeria in error while shipping some personal effects.
Aikpaojie said the three pump action rifles were sold to him by policemen attached to the command headquarters, adding that he also bought ammunition from the command’s armourer.
He said: “I don’t know why the police are parading me like a common criminal. I applied to the force for three rifles. The officers who facilitated the purchase of the riffles called the seller and he came to meet us at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
“He sold each one for N150, 000. The police asked me to apply for police permit for the rifles which I did. They gave me the permit and I went away with the three rifles.
“I bought the rifles because we had crisis in my village and as a businessman, I found it necessary to arm myself. I am into haulage. Whenever I am in the country and travel to the village, I often go with some policemen.
“I bought the pistol found on me in the US. I am an American citizen; I mistakenly shipped the pistol found on me on the day I was arrested along with some personal effects.
“I came into Nigeria nine days ago. I found the pistol tucked under a sofa in my house in Lagos and I was on my way to the station to find out from the police what to do with it. If I can keep it or not.
“What happened was that I stopped over somewhere at Mushin to buy plantain and I did not know that the Area Commander was standing behind me and was asking me to stop. As I made to reverse my car, some policemen pounced on me.
“It was then they found the pistol strapped to my trouser. They asked me all manner of questions and I told them how I got it. They took me to my house where the found the other three guns, I have valid license for the three rifles. The Area Commander had taken the license from me.”