Aman, Christian Celestine, has been arrested for being in possession of a high calibre assault weapon, a G3 rifle, together with 78 rounds of live ammunition, which he claims was manufactured by him to get a job with the Nigerian military.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Benue State Command arrested the Jos-bound Mr Christian who was travelling from Onitsha.
The chairman of NDLEA retired Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, made the announcement during a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that the suspect would be handed over to the appropriate authority for further investigation.
Mr Marwa said that the checkpoint was to stop and search vehicles for drugs, noting that NDLEA arrests when other criminal items such as heavy weapons, as in this instance, were found.
He explained that the suspect was arrested on August 4 in a bus en route to Jos where the vehicle was flagged down at Aliade checkpoint for search.
“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 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 the same calibre were discovered,” he said.
Mr Marwa noted that people now manufacture weapons on their own, thereby selling to bandits, kidnappers and criminal gangs among others.
He said that it was important for this to be investigated by the appropriate agencies of the government, assuring that due sanctions would follow as it might not be the only manufactured weapon.
While interrogating the suspect, Mr Christian claimed he had talent in making local guns, adding that he was hoping to get a job in the military with it.
Mr Christian said that he was aware it was a crime to manufacture weapons without a permit in Nigeria and that he was looking forward to having one.
He said that he had met a soldier who told him to make a sample and told him he could get a government job with his talent.
According to him, 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.
In the same vein, Mr Marwa said that three bandits armed with AK 47 rifles were also intercepted by officers on patrol in Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
He said that the suspects were from Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State en route Kankara Local Government Area in Katsina State for a devilish assignment.
He noted that a car, three AK 47 rifles with magazines and ammunition, different types of charms, rings, cash and other items, were recovered from them.