Reps want NSA, DSS to probe importation of illegal firearms

See the 440 pump action rifles intercepted by Customs

The House of Representatives has called on the president to direct National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; Lawal Daura, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS) and other heads of security agencies to investigate the importation of illegal firearms into the country.

The lower legislative chamber also mandated committees on national security and intelligence, customs and excise, and police affairs to interface with the security agencies on the investigation and report back in four weeks.

The resolutions of the house were sequel to a motion sponsored by Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, a lawmaker from Abia state.

While moving the motion on the floor of the house on Tuesday, Onyejeocha said the importation of firearms has fuelled armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and other crimes perpetrated in the country.

“On 22 January, 2017, operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted a trailer along Mile 2 Apapa Road, Lagos conveying a container of 661 illegally imported pump action rifles,” she said.

“Following the interception of the firearms, three people were arrested in connection with the conveyance of the intercepted firearms and about four customs officers involved in clearing the container were also detained.

“Since the arrests were made, no further information has been disclosed on whether anyone was charged to court in connection with the matter about four months after the incident.

“On 23 May, 2017, another container filled with about 440 pump action rifles was intercepted at the Tin Can Island Apapa, Lagos allegedly imported from Turkey.”

The lawmaker said “lack of transparency in the handling of the earlier incidence of importation of 661 rifles may have emboldened the perpetrators of the recent 440 pump action rifles into believing that they too can get away with the crime.”

The house adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara.  

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