A video recording showing how a retired Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Mahmud Hassan, revealed how he paid N1 million to officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies to smuggle 661 pumpaction rifles packed in a 40-ft container out of Apapa port was yesterday shown before Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
The video recorded on March 27, 2017, between the hours of 2 p. m. and 2.45 p.m., was tendered by an operative of DSS, Jaiye Emmanuel, while testifying in a trial-within- trial ordered by the court to determine the voluntariness or otherwise of the statement made by Hassan to the DSS while he was being investigated for allegedly conspiring with five others to illegally import 661 pump-action rifles into the country last year January.
Speaking in the video, Hassan, while disclosing that he gave out N1 million to facilitate the moving of the container out of the port, however, said he did not part with the money because of the guns.
When Hassan was asked how the N1 million was shared among security agencies, he said: “The examiners were given N200, 000; C.I.O. N100, 000; Enforcement N200, 000; Police and SSS were given between N20, 000, N25, 000 and N30, 000; the two gates N200, 000; Exit gate N20, 000 and final gate N50, 000”.
Hassan also told his interrogators in the video that he first agreed with the importer of the guns for N3.8 million, when he was told that the consignments were steel doors, but had to raise the cost of clearing the consignment to N4 million, when he learnt that the consignment includes 661 pump action guns. Further hearing in the matter continues today.
The Federal Government had on November 16, 2017, re-arraigned Hassan, alongside five others on an amended 8-count charge bordering on the alleged offence before the court.
He was re-arraigned alongside Salisu Abdullahi Danjuma, Hassan Trade Nigeria Limited, Oscar Okafor, Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo and Mathew Okoye (at large). In the amended charge marked, FHC/ L/190C/2017, all the defendants were alleged to have conspired with one another to illegally import 661 pump action rifles into Nigeria.
They were equally accused of forging a number of documents including a bill of lading, a Form M and a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report in order to evade payment of Customs duty. In the forged bill of lading, they allegedly filled “steel door” as the content of the container instead of rifles.
President, VP, governors, legislators should disclose salaries -Sani
The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, yesterday charged Nigerians to demand for compulsory disclosure of salaries and allowances of the President, Vice President. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, governors, state legislators and chairmen of councils.
Sani, who recently disclosed that federal lawmakers go home with stupendous N13.5m monthly allowance also called for a review of salaries and allowances of government officials to stem the ugly tide of inequality in the society.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital yesterday, the senator said his revelation of the allowances and salaries which he and his colleagues collect was actually not to antagonize them but to end the 19 years of secrecy and culture of silence in the National Assembly.
His words: “I made the revelation not because I wanted to antagonise my colleagues but out of my belief that things should not continue to be as it were for a long time. My observation was based on the reading of public mood and public perspectives on issues in the National Assembly. The National Assembly has many distinguished personalities, but because of the culture of secrecy and silence, many have found themselves criminalised and stigmatised, and the dome of the National Assembly is being seen to be a canopy of persons with questionable characters and integrity.
“I took the bold step to save the honour and integrity of the National Assembly by unveiling the wall of 19 years secrecy and bring it once and for all to an end. I know I would lose friends and colleagues from the Senate I serve, but my action is to correct the conflicting rumours about Senators collecting N50m, N100m and the rest.
“Nigerians should ask their members of the Houses of Assembly too how much allowance they are collecting in silence because they are also collecting such. I am collecting the allowance and others are also collecting at the National Assembly. But this will continue until there is a review which I advocated. There is need to know the salary and allowances of Ministers, Chief of Staff. GMDs of NNPC, and the rest. This is necessary because we cannot continue to be like the North Korea.”
“When President Buhari assumed office, he publicly declared his assets. His Vice, Professor Osinbajo followed suit. After them, I was the third person that declared my assets publicly. Since then, there was no one. Not even a Councilor, Local Government Chairman, Governor, had declared their assets. There is no difference between a sinner and a saint in the political arena.
“I went to the Code of Conduct Bureau. I was given a pen and paper and in a page, I wrote down my assets. Others with me in the hall who have also won elections were calling for more papers as if it was an exam centre where you could ask for more papers. Some filled theirs almost like volume. If the PDP are seen as sinners and in the group of APC who are saints, only three persons can come out clean, then you ask yourself whether you are being taken for a ride. Since I made the public declaration, there has not been any sanction against me. I am not sure maybe there may be one tomorrow or next”, Sani said.
Benue: Tiv youths seek unity to end herdsmen killings
The Tiv Youths Organisation (TYO), yesterday called on all well meaning Nigerians to embrace unity of purpose in order to stem rampant killing of farmers in the country by armed Fulani herdsmen before they destroy the country for Benue State selfish gains.
President General of the organisation, Mr. Timothy Hembaor stated this while addressing a news conference in Makurdi, the state capital.
Hembaor, who regretted the continued killing of innocent people in the state by herdsmen, expressed concern over the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to respond to critical issues put to him by stakeholders during his visit to the state, especially the call by the state government for security operatives to arrest the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), whose intention, he said is to kill and take over Benue Valley that is blessed with green vegetation.
“We want to call on all well meaning Nigerians to rise up and resist attempts by the Fulani herdsmen to take over Nigeria. The signal is clear that if Nigerians do not mobilise against these deadly terrorists, and they succeed in taking over the Benue Valley, it will not stop here, it will surely extend to other parts of the country that are blessed with green grass.
“We must realise and appreciate the fact that every part of Nigeria that has green grass is under serious threat at this point. The sooner we mobilise and collectively resist our attackers, the better for our future and that of the generations to come.”
The TYO boss stressed the need for the Federal Government to provide security to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity.
Police kill, nab armed robbery suspects, cultists in Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Police Command, at the weekend, confirmed the killing of one suspected armed robbers and the arrest of 11 others over alleged cases of armed robber and cultism.
According to the police, the death of the armed robbery suspect and arrest of others were part of security operation to check the onslaught against criminals by the Police in Bayelsa Command.
This was made possible through ‘Stop and Search’ operations on motorists, tricycles and frisk on suspected persons.
The spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said, “On March14, 2018, at about 13:50 hours, two unknown gunmen, armed with a locally made pistol went to Elohim Food Mart, at Swali Road, Yenagoa and robbed one female customer, Elo Baribefe of one Itel phone, one Infinix phone, one Vivo phone and cash of N327.000.”
“The CCTV camera in the premises captured the suspects. Further investigation led to the arrest of the suspects – Elayo Youngosi (24) of Oil Mill Road, Ovom, Sarah Alex (19) of PDP Road, Yenezue-gene and Collins Nathaniel (25), who was earlier arrested by men of Operation Doo-Akpo for cult-related offence.
“Shop owners are advised to mount CCTV cameras their premises to assist police in investigation. The suspects will soon be charged to court.
“On March 14, at about 0300 hours, operatives from Operation Doo-Akpo, were alerted on the hideout of criminals, who were on the wanted list of police for several heinous crimes.
“Consequently, the operatives swung into action and raided Benvis Hotel, at Opolo, where the criminals were hiding. In a bid to escape, one of the suspects, Job Nathaniel (29) jump from the roof of the hotel, sustained an injury and later died in the hospital.
“His cohorts, Wisdom Holly (19); Ovie Solomon (25); Goodnews Blessing (18) and Miracle Marcus (20) were arrested. The suspects led police to their girlfriend’s house few meters away from the hotel, where police recovered a locally made revolver with one live cartridge. Investigation is ongoing.
“In March15, at about 1300hrs, police at Julius Berger Pin down flagged down a tricycle with REG No. HKW 704 QC and searched the occupants: Julius Konyefa (41), a native of Aghoro community in Ekeremor LGA, but residing in Azikoro village; Apuam Ikegima (36) of Epebu community in Ogbia LGA, but residing in Amarata, Yenagoa; Paul Raphael (36) years of Brass, in Brass LGA, but residing in Azikoro village, Yenagoa, and the tricycle rider, Shuibu Japebu (45).
“A Beretta Pistol without breech number and magazine and two plastic coca-cola bottles wrapped in a black cellophane bag were recovered from the tricycle. The suspects are undergoing thorough interrogation.”
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