Tuesday, 18 January 2011

UN in Nigeria to investigate Iranian arms seizure

Nigeria's Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia has said that a group of UN experts arrived in Nigeria to inspect an illegal shipment of arms seized in Apapa seaport in Lagos on 27th October 2010. The shipment, sent from an Iranian port, of 13 containers labeled as building materials included rockets, grenades and ammunition.

Ajumogobia told AFP the group was in Nigeria to, "meet with relevant government officials as part of a neutral fact-finding mission following up on the report that we filed with the sanctions committee in November last year".

Nigeria alerted the UN Security Council, in November 2010, after seizing the shipment sent from Iran in an apparent breach of sanctions. It is thought that the shipment would have been reloaded and sent to Gambia. Tehran has since said the cargo was being shipped by a private company to a "West African country" and was the subject of a "misunderstanding" that has now been cleared up.

Ajumogobia met with the six UN members along with intelligence service chiefs, national security personnel and immigration representative, "to clarify several issues that arose from the report we filed".

Last month a Nigerian high court charged an Iranian, identified as a member of the Iran Revolutionary Guard, over the illegal arms cargo. Azim Aghajani was granted a $130,000 bail and ordered to return to court on 31st January. He was charged along with three Nigerians.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, Vanguard, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment