‘I sold only I00 pieces of AK47 and not 200 as police claim’
A SUSPECTED gun-runner has denied selling over 200 Ak 47 rifles as alleged by the Police.
The suspect, Andrew Moukwue, who was among the eight suspected criminals paraded yesterday and currently facing interrogation at the Special State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, told newsmen that he had long been in the business of AK 47 rifle sales.
“Really, I sell AK47 to people but not 200 as the Police is saying. I know that the business I do is illegal but things are difficult and man must wack (eat).”
“I started the business many years ago but I was working under someone. When he died, I decided to start my own. I have a shop in Onitsha main market, Anambra State. I just stay in the shop and wait for customers. I don’t sell anything else. There is nothing in the shop, but I hold my mobile phone and, through it, I make contact and negotiate deals with my prospective customers”
“I used to buy the guns from a customer in Ibadan, Oyo State. I used to buy one for N300, 00O and I sold to end users between N350, 000 to N400, 000. I was always very careful with the people I sold to. I was selling to businessmen and people who have problems in their communities. Some communities in Anambra are having one clash or the other, so I was selling to those who needed guns to defend their communities.”
“I will not tell you lies, I have made money through the business. By the grace of God, I have built a befitting house,
I have two good cars and my children are in good schools. My wife is looking good. I don’t know why the devil came to distract me. I won’t tell you lies, I only sold about 100 AK47. Let the Police say the truth. Were they there when I was selling the guns? I am the one who sold the guns, how can another person tell me how many I sold. I know the business is illegal and that armed robbers use AK47 to operate, but I did not sell to armed robbers but to responsible people and community leaders.”
“I feel so sorry if anyone had used the gun he bought from me to commit crime, but I did not sell to them to do evil. Let the government forgive me,” Moukwue confessed.
One of his accomplices, Christopher Edwin said: “My sin is that I assisted him in selling 14 AK47 rifles. I knew the business was evil but I needed to survive. I would collect from him for N350,OOO and sell for N400,0000. I just started the business so I won’t say that I have made money or not. To be candid, I sold guns to businessmen and not to hoodlums. I was the person who led the Police to my master. I also led the Police to some of the places they recovered the guns. I know that I have done evil against man and God but I did not know the implication until I was told about the implication of the guns falling into the hands of armed robbers. Please let the Police temper justice with mercy.”
The State Commissioner Of Police Mr Kayode Aderanti, who paraded the suspect among others at his office in GRA, Ikeja, said based on the follow-up of a case, one Andrew Moukwue was arrested in Onitsha and upon interrogation, he confessed to have sold over 200 Ak47 rifles smuggled from Mali to several criminals and militants in Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Enugu and Lagos States.
Aderanti said: “He led SARS Opertatives back to Onitsha where one Christopher Edwin was arrested and three Ak47 rifles were recovered. He further led SARS team to Rivers State where Peter Onyeale and Okpara Reginald were arrested and four English pistols, two Barreta pistols and two Brownie pistols were also recovered”
He said detectives have embarked on intensive combing in Bayelsa, Enugu and Abia states to fish out the remaining gang members who have gone underground after hearing of the arrest of Moukwue.