The trial of a 62-year-old lecturer of Igbinedion University, Okada, Anyanwu Longinus Obialor, for an alleged illegal possession of arms and ammunition at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, commenced Thursday at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court.
Obialor was docked on June 14, 2011, after his arrest by the police at Zone 2 Command, Onikan in Lagos Island, for allegedly being in possession of one Saiga Assault Rifle with serial number 1109109159 and a PFG Pistol with serial number PUY47 at the airport without ‘any lawful and satisfactory answer’ as to how he came about them.
He was re-arraigned Thursday before another Magistrate, Mrs J.O. Adepoju, after the matter was transferred from the Ojokoro Division of the court.
The prosecutor, Inspector Haruna Ibrahim, informed the court that the accused was also found in possession of ‘350 assorted types of ammunitions’.
The magistrate denied the defendant’s request made through his counsel, Mr. Osagie Akioya, for the matter to be struck out and ordered that the case be tried de novo (anew).
Mr. Osagie had informed the court that Mr. Obialor was a lecturer at the Igbinedion University, Okada, and resided in Benin.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge of illegal possession of arms and ammunitions contrary to and punishable under Section 428 (d) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 17, vol. ii, laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
The magistrate then granted him bail on the same terms as in June 2011 – in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in the like sum.
“The sureties must show proof of tax payment to the Lagos State government for the past five years. One of the sureties must also be a civil servant on Grade level 12 and above or with landed property. The case was adjourned till November 15 and 16 for trial,” the Magistrate said.