The 2,671 pump action rifles that were seized by the Nigeria Customs Service this year have been linked to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB. This was part of a submission made by Dayo Apata, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent-Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, while opposing the secessionist movement’s motion filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the order proscribing it.
The Federal Government disclosed this in a counter-affidavit filed by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and which was deposed to by Ayuba Adam, a litigation officer in the Department of State Services. He said Abdulkadir Erahraman, a Turkish national, had visited Kanu in July, 2017, urging him to fight for freedom. He said it was possible that the seized rifles were sent to IPOB to fight for their demands of secession.
“That a Turkish citizen, Abdulkadir Erkahraman, visited Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the respondent/applicant in Isiama Afara, Umuahia, Abia State sometimes in July 2017, and has been canvassing support for the secessionist agenda of the respondent/applicant. He also admonished Biafrans to rise up and fight a good fight for freedom.’
“That the Nigeria Customs Service had on four occasions this year intercepted pump action rifles totalling 2,671 illegally imported into the country. Copies of the report on arms smuggling is attached herewith and marked as Exhibit FGN 2A and 2B,” it read.
However, IPOB, has denied any link to the seized guns, It said, through an affidavit by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, its counsel, that the guns had not been traced to Kanu or any close associate of his.
Justice Abdu Kafarati, the presiding judge, adjourned the case until January 17, 2018 for ruling on whether or not the group’s proscription should stand.