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Illegal arms: ‘I paid SSS, others N1m to take container out of port’

Mahmud Hassan, one of the accused persons standing trial over unlawful importation of 661 pump action guns into the country, last year December, told a Federal High Court that he paid N1m to officials of Department of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies to take the guns out of Apapa Port.

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Hassan, a retired Assistant Comptroller of Customs, stated this in a recorded video during his interrogation by the men of the DSS.

The video recorded on March 27, 2017, between the hours of 2 p. m. and 2.45 p.m., was tendered by an operative of DSS, Jaiye Emmanuel, during a trial-within-trial yesterday.

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“I gave N1m to facilitate the moving of the container out of port, but it is not because of the guns,” he said in the video.

When asked how the N1m was shared, he said: “The examiners were given N200, 000, C.I.O. N100, 000, Enforcement N200, 000, police, SSS, between N20, 000, N25, 000, and N30, 000, the two gates N200, 000, Exit gate N20, 000, and final gate N50, 000”.

Hassan also told the investigators in the video that he first agreed with the importer of the guns for N3.8 million, when he was first told that the consignments were steel door, but raised the cost of clearing the consignment to N4 million, when he was told that the consignment included 661 pump action guns.

The Nigeria Customs Service had on June 14, 2017, arraigned  Mahmud Hassan and Salisu Abdulahi Danjuma, alongside Oscar Orkafor, Donatus Ezebunwa Achinulo and Matthew Okoye, before Justice Ayotunde Faji’s court, on charge bordering on illegal importation of fire arms, conspiracy, forgery and altering of documents, offering of graft to government officials and importation of prohibited goods.

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