*Claims police assisted him to purchase them
By Evelyn Usman
A 52-year-old US based Nigerian who was arrested in Mushin area of Lagos, for being in possession of a fire arm has told detectives that he got it from policemen.
The suspect, Ailabojie Aikpaojie, also revealed that aside the pistol that was found on him, he also got three single barrel pump action riffles from the police.
The fire arm recovered from him was tucked in his trouser in Mushin . Traders who noticed the weapon, alerted policemen from Area ‘D’ command, Mushin, who subsequently arrested him.
However, when he was paraded at the command headquarters yesterday, he maintained that he bought the weapons from the Police.
Wondering why he was arrested, Aikpaojie said “I don’t know why the police are parading me like a common criminal. I applied to the force for three rifles. The officers who facilitated the purchase of the riffles called the seller and he came to meet us at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja. He sold each one for N150,000. The police asked me to apply for police permit for the rifles which I did. They gave me the permit and I went away with the three rifles.
“I bought the rifles because we had crisis in my village and as a businessman, I thought it wise to arm myself. I am into haulage business.
“I bought the pistol found on me in the US. I am an American citizen, I mistakenly shipped the pistol found on me on the day I was arrested ,along with some personal effects. I came into Nigeria nine days ago. I found the pistol tucked under a sofa in my house in Lagos and I was on my way to the station to find out from the police If I could keep it or not.
“On my way, I stopped over somewhere at Mushin to buy plantain and I did not know that the Area Commander was standing behind me and was asking me to stop. As I made to reverse my car, some policemen pounced on me. It was then they found the pistol strapped to my trouser. They asked me all manner of questions and I told them how I got it. They took me to my house where they found the other three guns, I have valid license for the riffles but the police have collected them from me”.
Briefing newsmen on the arrest, the Commissions of Police, Commissioner Fatai Owoseni, said that the suspect would be charged to court for unlawful possession of fire arm.
Represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Administration, Dansuki Galandachi explained that the suspect who resides in Lekki area of the state was arrested Wednesday,with “a Parable line Baretta pistol with nine 9mm live ammunition. He could not give a satisfactory account of where he got them from. Another search in his house led to the recovery of three long single barrel pump action guns with 250 cartridges.”