Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos has admitted as exhibit documents said to have emanated from Turkish’s government, affirming that One Ayogu Great James, bought riffles from the country.
James is currently standing trial before the court, alongside his company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited and two other persons, Mr Festus Emeka Umeh and Ifeuwa Moses Christ, on charges bordering conspiracy, forgery and unlawful importation of 1,570 pump action guns into the country and altering of Customs’ documents.
They were alleged to have committed the offences between September 6 and 20, 2017.
The accused are being prosecuted by the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
At the resumed trial of the accused on Friday, the prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaiye, told the court that the business of the day was a continuation of cross examination of the sixth prosecution witness in the matter, Mr. Ali Abubakar, who was later called into the witness box.
However, Mr. Wale Adeshokan (SAN) counsel to the third defendant, Christ, before commencing his cross-examination with the witness, told the court that they were to be serve with additional proof evidence by the prosecution.
The said additional proof of evidence was the official letter from the Turkish Embassy on the smuggled riffles.
Responding, the prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, told the court that the defendant had not officially requested for it, which he said was the normal procedure.
But with the court’s intervention, the letter dated July 30, 2018, with reference number: 540.18/18,52, addressed to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali, was released to the defence and same was tendered, admitted and marked as Exhibit GJ 23.
During cross examination, the witness told the court that the third defendant is the shipper of the consignment, adding that the shipper and the cargo agent were not the same.
He also told the court that the third defendant was not the inspection agent.
Upon conclusion of the cross examination of the sixth witness, the prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, sought for an adjournment, which was not opposed by the defence. Justice Saidu, consequently adjourned further hearing of the charge till March 2 and 3, 2020.