The office of the Attorney General of the Federation, OAGF has arraigned an American, Donn Perkins, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged unlawful importation of firearms.
Donn Perkins, who claimed to be a former United State Marine, was arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on a four-count charge.
While arraigning the defendant, the prosecutor, Mrs. Kehinde Bode-Ayeni, told the court that the Nigeria Customs Service, in February 2023, at Tin-can Island, Apapa, Lagos, intercepted a container full of firearms belonging to the defendant and he was arrested.
Mrs. Bode-Ayeni listed the arms and ammunition the defendant arrested with as one piece of 5.56mm AK47, styled rifle (Tavor) serial No. 1452 with three magazines and one drum, one piece of Ak47 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 the American 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 AK47 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 informed 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 was punishable under section 27 (1) (a) (iii) of the same Act.
The American however 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.
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However, the defendant’s lawyer, Blessing Jaiyeola, pleaded with the court to remand her client in the complainant’s custody, till when she will file his bail application.
Jaiyeola told the court that her client was an Ex-Us marine, who only came to stay in Nigeria with the items arrested with him.
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 at the custody of the NCOS, while adjourning the matter till June 6 and 7, for the commencement of the defendant’s trial.