The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), yesterday, arraigned an American, Donn Perkins, before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos. Perkins was arraigned before the court, presided over by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on a four-count bordering on alleged unlawful importation of firearms. While arraigning the American who claimed to be a former United State Marine, the prosecutor, Mrs Kehinde Bode-Ayeni informed the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in February 2023, at the Tin-can Island, Apapa, Lagos. Mrs Bode-Ayeni listed the arms and ammunition the defendant was arrested with to include 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. BY558431and two magazines.
The prosecutor equally hinted to the court that 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 of ammunition and 54 rounds of 380mm Ruger live ammunition. Mrs Bode-Ayeni informed the judge 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. According to the prosecutor, the offence committed by the defendant contravened sections 18 and 19 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (As amended), and punishable under section 27 (1) (a) (lil) of the same Act.
But the American pleaded not guilty to the charge, prompting the prosecutor to request a trial date. She also urged the court to remand him in prison custody until the determination of the charge. However, the defendant’s lawyer, Blessing Jaiyeola, pleaded with the court to remand her client in the complainant’s custody, until when she will file his bail application. After entertaining submissions from parties, Justice Awogboro ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the NCOS.