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Akwa Ibom: Hunter jailed for 10 years over illegal possession of firearms

Written by on March 16, 2022

Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the State has sentenced one Edet Akpan George, a 38-year-old hunter to 10 years in prison for illegal possession of firearms.

The convict was also given N20,000 option of fine.

The presiding judge, Justice Okon Okon found the hunter, who is a father of eight guilty.

He ruled that the offence was contrary to Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Laws of the Federation 2004.

He said, “The section provides that “any person having a firearm in his possession or under his control in contravention of the Firearms Act shall upon conviction, be sentenced to a fine of N20,000 or to imprisonment for a period of not less than 10 years or both.”

Justice Okon noted that the convict in his evidence in Court never denied being in possession of the guns but said he inherited the guns from his father who was a hunter.

He added that the convict did not see anything wrong in the possession of firearms as a trained and professional member of the Association of Hunters with identity card and certificate of participation in training programmes conducted in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force.

Describing the convict as a man of truth, the presiding Judge said he (convict) was living in false belief that he was entitled to own and possess guns without the need for license, being a professional hunter involved in community policing, adding that ignorance was no excuse in law.

The convict was arrested by police officers in 2019 upon allegation of being in possession of two locally-made single-barrel guns and a live cartridge without the necessary license.

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