Nigerian and Iranian charged with import of firearms and explosives

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Arms

Ali Jega, a Nigerian charged alongside an Iranian with importation of firearms and explosives to Nigeria, on Friday wrapped up his testimony before a Federal High Court, Lagos. Jega is standing trial along with an Iranian, Azim Aghajani, on a five-count charge of unlawful importation of a 13 by 20 feet container loaded with arms and explosives into Nigeria.

The Nigerian, led in cross examination by the prosecutor, Maduakor Livingstone, said that his services had been genuinely sought by Aghajani, but he was not informed of the nature of the consignment. On why his name was on the bill of lading, Jega told the court that he was also not aware until he was apprehended by Customs officers.

 Jega said that when problems arose due to the consignment, he had to call Aghajani, who was in Abuja to inform him but the Iranian told him that it contained building materials. “I sent mails to Aghajani for him to confirm the content of the consignment, and he still misrepresented to me that they were building materials.

?I felt so bad because Aghajani had deceived me into believing that the consignment actually contained building materials,” he said.

Jega told the court that prior to the employment of his services for the trans-shipment, he had no contact with Aghajani. After listening to the testimony of the accused, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, granted an application by defence counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) for leave to file written addresses. He granted both accused 21 days to file their addresses and gave the prosecution 21 days from the date of service of the defence addresses to file theirs. The judge also granted the defence seven days to reply thereafter and adjourned the matter to March 11 for adoption of written addresses.

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