The AkwaIbom State High Court, sitting in IbionoIbom local government area, has sentenced one EdetAkpan 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 trial judge, Justice OkonOkon, found the hunter, who is a father of eight, guilty.
He ruled that the offence was in contravention of Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Laws of the Federation 2004.
Okon 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.”
He 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 also a hunter.
Okon 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 judge said he (the 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.