Suspects detail how 1,100 guns heading to Anambra were smuggled into Nigeria
Smuggled guns in Anambra
Agents of Death
Prince Ayogu who is currently on bail accused Customs of detaining him for three months while the people who perfected the use of his company’s name to commit crime without his knowledge were released.
“As soon I learnt that my company’s name was linked to the illegal importation of those arms intercepted at the Tin-Can Island Seaport, Lagos, I wrote to the Customs in Abuja, wanting to alert them that I have no hand in it and that someone may have criminally declared my company as the importer, so as to deceive the Customs. I wrote to Customs but got no response, then I presented myself to them and they got me detained for three months. When they brought the Form M which actually linked my company to the case, I went through it and discovered that the RC, TIN, and Phone numbers on the Form M were not mine. The email address and the signature on this form was also not mine. I pointed this out to Customs and told them that someone had criminally used my company’s name and account number to complete the filling of the ‘Form M’.
“I urged Customs to invite my account officer at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) which was where the Form M, was raised, the account officer said he wasn’t aware of such transaction. My account officer referred the Customs to the International Trade Section, ITS, of the bank where it was discovered that one Jude Ezirim, the Head of Operations at the bank’s branch on Warehouse Road Apapa, Lagos, was the banker who supervised usage of my company’s name and account number in filling a Form M. During interrogation, Ezirim then confessed to the Customs that one Chidioke Ogbuezi, was the person who brought my company’s name, account and other details for him to fill and that Ogbuezi paid him N40,000 to perfect the Form M.
“In spite of this, Ezirim was granted bail and was asked to go and I remained. Luckily, my family through the aid of the police arrested Ogbuezi and four other clearing agents excluding Emeka. They were brought to the Customs and they confessed that Emeka gave them my company’s name which they have used in several transactions without my knowledge. It was also discovered that one of the clearing agents had at one time raised a Form M with my company’s name in a bank that I don’t have an account. I was marveled at the rate at which these agents forge documents and after staying for few days the Customs granted them bail,” he alleged.
According to him, after three months in detention, he was arraigned in court despite the fact that he uncovered that a company known as Concern Men Limited which was on the bill of lading were the real importers of the pump action guns. “My lawyers came and raised a point on that and having spent three months in Customs custody, the Customs then agreed to grant me bail on the condition that I produce Emeka and the owner of Concern Men, who were the importers. Upon my release, I wrote a petition to the Inspector General Police to help me arrest all those who have wrongly used my company without my permission. Ifeuwa was finally arrested but I learnt that he has been charged to court. I learnt that police wrote to them to hand over Ifeuwa to them to enable them trace the distribution network but they refused,” he stated.
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