Customs reveal owners of arms illegally imported into the country

The Nigeria Customs Service, on Thursday, September 21, named Great James Oil and Gas Ltd as the importer of the haul of 470 guns that was impounded at the Tin Can Island port last week. 

According to Daily Trust's investigation, three individuals with residences in Abuja and Lagos own the company named in the illegal importation of arms. The Customs boss Col Hameed Ali (rtd), said Great James Oil and Gas Ltd used a vessel, AVS Arkas Africa, to ferry the weapons into Nigeria, but did not name the owners of the company. 

However Ayogu Cyril, Ayogu Kelvin and Ayogu Great James registered the oil firm as its directors on July 20, 2011 with RC 968675. The investigation also showed that the three directors used residential addresses in Kaura District of the Federal Capital Territory and Bariga area in Lagos, respectively, to register the business. Cyril and Great James gave the address of a residential apartment, Suite 4, 4th Avenue, Prince and Princess Estate in Kaura District, Abuja while Kelvin gave the address of a residential apartment at No. 25 Bariga road. When Daily Trust visited the address in Abuja, a guard informed them that the male occupant was at home with his wife, but declined the request to speak with his employer, holding that his boss was not expecting any visitor. A vehicle was alo spotted parked in front of the building. 

Another male guard, denied knowledge of the said oil and gas firm or the occupant’s link to it. He later went in and returned with a response, saying his boss was equally unaware of the said firm. Other people in the area said they had no knowledge of what the occupant was doing for a living, and while others doubted if he had a firm named Great James Oil and Gas Ltd. 

At the address given as the residence of Kelvin located at No 25, Bariga Road, in the Bariga Local Development Area of Lagos State is a brown one-storey affair of six three bedroom apartments. The report also showed the building is mainly residential. All but one of the tenants were out when our correspondent visited there yesterday. A chat with the only person, who wouldn’t give his name, said Kelvin actually lived there but had packed out to his own house about two years ago. 

He said he didn’t know the address of Kelvin’s present residence. On Thursday, the Customs CG said the firm used the elbow plumbing plastic that it declared in the bill of lading to deceive officials about the concealed weapons. He said the 470 weapons were found after officers had subjected the 20-foot container No. CMAU189817/8 to 100 per cent examination. Hameed Ali said his agency and other security outfits were investigating the reasons for the massive importation of arms into the country. 
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