The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday arraigned one Ayogu James for allegedly shipping into the country 1,570 pump-action rifles from Istanbul, Turkey.
The Customs told the Federal High Court in Lagos that the accused shipped the firearms into the country through the Apapa port, Lagos, using two 20-foot containers marked GESU 2555208 and CMAU 1878178.
James was alleged to have claimed that the containers were loaded with wash hand basins and water closets, adding that the consignment came in from China, rather than Turkey.
He was alleged to have forged a Form M and a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, marked, MF 20170080364 and CN20170768490/001 respectively, to disguise the true content of the containers and their country of origin.
The prosecuting counsel for the customs, Julius Ajakaiye, told the court that James committed the offence in September 2017, in connivance with Ifeuwa Moses, who had earlier been arraigned; and other persons still at large, including one Emeka Festus, alias Amankwa.
James was arraigned on 11 counts on Tuesday before Justice Saliu Saidu alongside his company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited of No. 1, Warehouse Road, Apapa, Lagos.
The prosecutor, Ajakaiye, said the defendants acted contrary to Sections 3(6), 1(14)(a), 1(14)(a)(i), 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and were liable to be punished under the same law.
James and his firm, however, pleaded not guilty.
Justice Saidu ordered that he should be remanded in the prison custody, while he adjourned further proceedings in the case till November 20 and 21, 2018.