Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Benue state command, made a big catch Wednesday, August 4, when they arrested a man, Celestine Chidiebere, with a fabricated high calibre G3 rifle and 78 rounds of live ammunition.
The Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, rtd, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday. According to him, the suspect was arrested in a bus enroute Onitsha to Jos with a completed welded end-to-end iron box belonging to him.
The NDLEA boss, who disclosed that the suspect was nabbed during a routine stop and search process at a checkpoint for drugs, added that his agency has concluded plans to hand over the suspect to the appropriate authority for further investigations He noted that NDLEA opted to effect his arrest in the light of the heavy weapons that were found on him.
“In the process, an iron box completely welded end to end was found in the vehicle, and when the passengers were questioned to know the owner, the suspect, Celestine Chidiebere Christian, accepted ownership.
When the steel box was taken to the Benue state Command, along with the suspect, an electric filing machine was used to cut it open.
A fabricated high calibre G3 rifle was discovered with 78 rounds of live ammunition and five empty shells of same alibre were discovered,” Marwa said.
The suspect claimed during interrogation that he has gun fabrication talent and that he is hoping to get a job in the military with it. He admitted being aware that it is a crime to manufacture weapons without a permit in Nigeria but that he was looking forward to obtaining one, noting however, that he met a soldier who told him to make a sample and told him he could get a government job with his talent.
Marwa noted that the danger in the discovery is that people now manufacture weapons on their own and sell same to bandits, kidnappers and criminal gangs. He therefore advised that the case be further investigated by relevant security agencies with a view to curtailing the dangerous development.
“I do not have a permit but I was looking forward to getting one with my talent. They will not believe I can do this that is why I need to convince them with a sample,” Chidiebere admitted.