OWN­ERS OF ARMS IM­PORT FIRM UN­COV­ERED

Have Houses in Abuja, La­gos Reg­is­tered Busi­ness in 2011 With Res­i­den­tial Ad­dresses

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By An­thony Ma­liki (Abuja) & Temi­tayo Odun­lami (La­gos)

Three in­di­vid­u­als with res­i­dences in Abuja and La­gos own the com­pany that has been fingered for the il­le­gal im­por­ta­tion of arms into the coun­try ear­lier in the week, in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Daily Trust on Sun­day has shown.

The Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice, on Thurs­day, 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, a week af­ter a con­sign­ment of 1,100 weapons be­long­ing to the same firm was seized at the same port.

The Comp­trol­ler-Gen­eral, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), said Great James Oil and Gas Ltd used a ves­sel, AVS Arkas Africa, to ferry the weapons into Nige­ria. The Cus­toms boss did not name the own­ers of the com­pany.

In­ves­ti­ga­tion by Daily Trust on Sun­day re­vealed that Ayogu Cyril, Ayogu Kelvin and Ayogu Great James reg­is­tered the oil firm as its direc­tors on July 20, 2011. The com­pany was reg­is­tered with RC 968675.

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 our re­porters vis­ited the ad­dress in Abuja yes­ter­day, a guard in­formed them that the male oc­cu­pant was at home with his wife. But he de­clined their re­quest to speak with his em­ployer, hold­ing that his boss was not ex­pect­ing any vis­i­tor.

A ve­hi­cle was seen parked in front of the build­ing.

The guard, and an­other adult male, 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 spo­ken to in the area said they had no knowl­edge OF what the oc­cu­pant was do­ing for a liv­ing, and oth­ers doubted if he had a firm named Great James Oil and Gas Ltd. “The owner is from the South-East, but his name is not James Ayogu or Cyril Ayogu and it is strange the com­pany you as­so­ci­ate with him,” a res­i­dent of the area said.

At No 25, Bariga Road, in the Bariga Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Area of La­gos State, given as the res­i­dence of Kelvin is a brown one-storey af­fair of six three bed­room apart­ments.

Checks by Daily Trust on Sun­day 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.

A meet­ing was sched­uled Fri­day be­tween Nige­rian of­fi­cials and their Turk­ish coun­ter­parts to dis­cuss the rise in arms ship­ment to Nige­ria from Turkey.

A to­tal of 2,671 ri­fles, in four batches, were seized within the last eight months, all com­ing from Turkey, ac­cord­ing to the Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice.

Hameed Ali said his agency and other se­cu­rity out­fits were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the rea­sons for the mas­sive im­por­ta­tion of arms into the coun­try.

“We are yet to get to the bot­tom of the whole thing. Are these arms meant for com­mer­cial pur­poses, or meant to be given to a group of in­sur­gents or ag­i­ta­tors and kid­nap­pers?” he said.

La­gos: The res­i­dence of Kelvin

Abuja: The res­i­dence of Cyril and Great James

The en­trance to Prince and Princess Es­tate in Abuja

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