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15 Russians remanded in Ikoyi prison over firearms

By The Citizen
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A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Okechukwu Okeke, yesterday, arraigned 15 Russians for unlawful importation of arm and ammunitions into Nigeria.

They are currently being remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons pending the determination of their bail application fixed for February 25.

The accused are Zhelyazkov Andrey, Savchenko Sergel, Chichkanov Vasily, Varlygin Igor, Komilov Alexander, Lopatin Alexey and Baranovskly Nikolay.

Others are Mishin Pavel, Llia Shubov, Dimitry Bannyrh, Alexander Tsarikov, Kononov Sergel, Korotchenko Andrey, Vorobev Mikhail, and Stepan Oleksiuk.

The prosecutor, Ernest Ezebilo,  told the court that the accused persons and their vessel were arrested by Naval officers on October 18, 2012, within the Nigerian territorial waters, in Lagos State.

They were arraigned on a four-count charge of unlawful importation of firearms and ammunition into Nigeria, unlawful possession of firearms as well as non declaration of the content of their vessel.

The offences are said to be contrary to the provisions of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and the Customs and Excise Management 2002.

However, the accused persons, who spoke through an interpreter, all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Meanwhile, the defense counsel, Chukwuwike Okafor, told the court of a pending bail application for the accused persons.

He  said  he was just served copies of the application yesterday morning and would require time to respond to it.

Justice  Okeke later adjourned the matter to Feb. 25 for the prosecution to file a reply to the bail application of the defense counsel. He also ordered that the accused persons be remanded at the Ikoyi prisons pending the determination of their bail application.