Reuters: A Nigerian court granted bail on Thursday to an alleged member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who along with three Nigerians was charged last month with illegally importing arms into the West African country.
ABUJA (Reuters) – A Nigerian court granted bail on Thursday to an alleged member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who along with three Nigerians was charged last month with illegally importing arms into the West African country.
Nigeria reported the seizure of the shipment — including rockets and other explosives hidden in containers of building materials — to the U.N. Security Council in November for an apparent breach of U.N. sanctions on Iran.
Azim Adhajani, identified on the charge sheet as a Tehran-based businessman and member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, was granted 20 million naira bail. He has said he is not guilty.
“The gestures of the Iranian Embassy have gone down well with the state, hence the absence of opposition to the bail application … consequently the accused is hereby granted bail,” Judge Ishaq Bello said in the high court in Abuja.
He said the trial would begin on January 31.
The four suspects were also charged with conspiring to re-export the illegal shipment to Banjul, Gambia. The three Nigerians — named as Abuja-based businessman Ali Usman Abbas Jega and customs clearing agents Ali Oroji Wamako and Mohammed Tukur — also pleaded not guilty.
Court documents said the weapons that were seized included assorted calibres of mortars and 107 mm rockets, designed to attack static targets and used by armies to support infantry units, as well as shells for a 23 mm anti-aircraft gun.