By Philip Atume

Two out of five persons, Oscar Okafor and Donatus Achinulo being prosecuted by the Federal Government for unlawful importation of 661 rifles into the country want a plea bargain.

The defendants had been arraigned by the attorney general of the federation before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mahmoud Hassan, Salihu Danjuma and Matthew Okoye were among the persons arraigned on June 14 by the AGF on an eight count charge.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the eight charges pressed against them, while the trial judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji Refused their bail applications.

The defendants were directed by the Judge to notify the Attorney General of the Federation, of their intention to have their plea changed.

So far, the matter continues today, September 26, as a result of the adjournment of the case.

The defendants, through their new lawyers, made the call yesterday, Monday September 25, before Justice Ayokunle Faji. 

The application was made orally by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), representing Okafor and Mr. Paul Ananaba (SAN), representing Achinulo.

In the charges, the AGF said the defendants imported 661 pump-action rifles from Turkey through the Apapa Port in Lagos, using a 40-feet container, which they falsely claimed contained steel doors.

The eight counts pressed against them bothers on conspiracy, importation of prohibited firearms, forgery, uttering of forged documents, and bribery.

The offences were said to be contrary to sections 1(2)(c), 1(14) (a)(i) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014.