It was a startling revelation at a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, when one Mamudu Hassan, one of the persons standing trial over the unlawful importation of 661 sophisticated pump action guns into the country, last year December, told the court that he doled out the sum of N1m to officials of Department of State Security (DSS), Customs ofgicers and other security agencies to smuggled the guns out of Apapa Port.
Mamudu, a retired Assistant Comptroller of Customs, stated this in a recorded video during his interrogation by the men of the DSS.
The video recorded on March 27, 2017, between the hours of 2 p. m. and 2.45 p.m., which was tendered by an operative of DSS, Jaiye Emmanuel, during a trial-within-trial, Mamudu said the N1m was shared among DSS and other security agencies.
He said: “I gave N1m to facilitate the movement of the container out of port, but it is not because of the guns”.
When Mamadu was asked how the N1m was shared among security agencies, he said: “the examiners were given N200, 000, C.I.O. N100,000, Enforcement N200,000, police, SSS, between N20,000, N25,000, and N30,000, the two gates N200,000, Exit gate N20,000, and final gate N50,000”.
Mamudu also told the investigators in the video that he first agreed with the importer of the guns for N3.8m, when he was first told that the consignments were steel door, but raised the cost of clearing the consignment to N4m, when he was told that the consignment includes 661 pump action guns.
Recall the Nigeria Customs Service had on June 14, 2017, arraigned two Customs Officers, Muhmud Hassan and Salisu Abdulahi Danjuma, alongside Oscar Orkafor, Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo and Matthew Okoye, before Justice Ayotunde Faji on charges bordering on illegal importation of firearms, conspiracy, forgery and altering of documents, offering of graft to government officials and importation of prohibited goods.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Julius Ajakaiye, are contrary to to and punishable under sections 3(6),1(14)(a)(I) 1(2) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and section 98(1) (b) of the Criminal Code Act.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) in charge number FHC/L/190c/17, alleged that the accused persons conspired with one another to illegally import into Nigeria 661 Pump Action Rifles.
They were also alleged to have forged the documents which includes: two Bill of Ladings, one reads ‘Shanghai China’, as Port of Loading, instead of ‘Istanbul’, and another one which reads: ‘Steel Doors’, as the contents of the container instead oI Customs’ Form M, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) used in smuggling the the said 661 rifles Into the country.
In particular, one of the Customs Officers, Mahmud Hassan, was alleged to corruptly offered the sum of N400, 000.00, to one Aliu Musa, the Examination Officer of the Federal Operation Unit of the Customs Service with an intent to prevent hundred percent search on a container, marked PONU 825914/3, which was used in bringing into the country the said arms.
He was also alleged to have corruptly gave the sum of N1m to government officials at Apapa Port, through his colleague, Danjuma Abdulahi, in order to prevent the searching of the said container used in bringing in the the imported Pump Action rifles.