The Federal Government said on Tuesday that the Nigeria Custom Service intercepted 2,671 pump action rifles illegally imported from Turkey on four different occasions in 2017 alone are traceable to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
The submission was made amongst other by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent-Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, while opposing IPOB’s motion filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the court’s order proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist organisation.
This was contained in the counter-affidavit filed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and which was deposed to by a litigation officer in the Department of State Services, Mr. Ayuba Adam.
Adam, who disclosed in the counter-affidavit that IPOB was a violent group pretending to be non-violent, said a Turkish citizen, Abdukadir Erahraman, visited Kanu sometimes in July 2017 when he was urging “Biafrans to rise up and fight a good fight for freedom.”
Drawing a link between the Turkish citizen’s visit to Kanu and the arms smuggled into Nigeria, the counter-affidavit added that the NCS had intercepted 2,671 rifles smuggled from Turkey in 2017 alone.
The counter-affidavit read in part, “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.”
However, IPOB, through a further affidavit filed by its counsel, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on Monday, denied any link to the intercepted weapons.
The further affidavit stated, “That contrary to the erroneous deposition in paragraph 6(h) of the applicant/respondent’s counter-affidavit which is denied, the alleged pump action rifles totalling 2,671, illegally imported into the country from Turkey, was not directly traced to Nnamdi Kanu or anyone associated with him.”