UN weapon inspectors in Lagos, begin inspection of seized bombs

By NBF News

A United Nations team of weapon inspectors yesterday began scrutiny of ammunitions and bombs alleged to have been imported into Nigeriaby some Iranians last October.

The seven-man team of weapon inspectors were drawn from Japan, China, Russia, Britain, France, United States and Nigeria.

Major General Ishola Williams (retd.) is the only Nigerian working with the inspectors.

They arrived Lagos yesterday and swiftly commenced inspection on the imported containers of bombs which were stacked inside a naval facility in Lagos.

The ammunition, which were allegedly imported in 13 containers in October 2010, Daily Sun learnt, were stored in a naval weapon store in Lagos and protected by stern-looking naval personnel.

Yesterday's inspection by the UN officials, Daily Sun learnt, was a follow-up to a complaint made by Nigeria to the United Nations Security Council against Iran, which is currently still under UN arms embargo.

It was gathered that the weapon inspectors were allowed access to the weapons yesterday at the instance of the National Security Adviser (NSA) General Andrew Azazi (retd).

Key military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily Sun that the inspectors were able to inspect only one container of ammunition yesterday and were able to detect that the hand grenades inside the container were prime hand grenade, which Daily Sun learnt was a military terminology for ready to use grenades.

The inspectors, who are taking their time to check detail of the ammunition to define their origin and expected destination, saw some 7.62mm ammunition in the container, which cannot be used by AK 47 rifles but by another kind of rifles, not in the inventory of the Nigerian military.

It was gathered that the inspectors were also working to determine if within the 13 containers, there would be a rifle suitable for that calibre of ammunition.

The State Security Service(SSS) had, shortly after the bombs were discovered, arrested two persons in connection with the discovery of rockets, grenades and explosives in 13 containers impounded at the Apapa Wharf, Lagos.

The National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, had also assured that all those involved in the importation of the arms and ammunition would be arrested. The NSA had inspected the seized arms and ammunition in Lagos and told Journalists that 'the very good procedure,' in place at the port made their interception possible. He added that it was too early to make conclusions on where the weapons originated and their destination.

The NSA said: 'At this point, the only thing we can say is that we have some armament we discovered at the port by the security agencies. We don't want to make any conclusions about where they are going or where they are coming from. We need a lot of verifications and at the end of the day, Nigerians will know this is what it is all about.