John Adams, Minna
The Nigeria Customs Service officials in Niger State has intercepted a truck loaded with 200,000 live ammunitions.
The Onitsha-bound Lveco truck with Lagos registration number AKD 904 X was intercepted at Wawa-Babana area of the state, a border town with Benin Republic.
Parading the driver of the truck and his accomplice in Minna, yesterday, the Customs Area Comptroller in charge of Kwara, Kogi and Niger States, Benjamin Binga, said his men intercepted the truck, which entered the country through the Babana border, at about 3:00 a.m yesterday.
He said the truck was disguised to be carrying about 100 empty Jerry cans, but, after a thorough check, it was discovered that the truck had a false bottom which was used to hide the cartridges.
“The checking was not from any tip off, it was just out of sheer curiosity that my men decided to do a thorough checking and discovered that unlike other bottoms of trucks, this one had nuts and on removing the nuts, they discovered it was a false bottom, which revealed the cartridges.
“The cartridges are numbering thousands, it would take us hours to count it. We are now working to establish what the cartridges are really meant for and who sent them to bring it into the country.
However, in an interview, the suspected driver of the truck, who identified himself as Bukari Dauda from Cotonu in Benin Republic, said he was employed by the real driver of the truck, one Martin Anokwara, to help him drive the truck to Onitsha.
Dauda claimed that he did not know that the truck contained live cartridges as Martin only told him he wanted to take the empty cans back to Nigeria.
The owner of the cartridges, Martin Anokwara, confirmed that he is the owner of the cartridges, but quickly added that it was not meant for robbery.
He said he supplies hunters and licensed owners of double barrel guns with cartridges within Anambra and other neighboring states.
Martin said the driver of the truck fell sick which made him contract Dauda to drive him back to Nigeria, adding that they had entered the country before they were apprehended by the customs.