The equipment used for making the arms were said to have been recovered from Ejir, who reportedly confessed to the police to have sold some AK-47, among others, to his customers.
It was learnt that Ejir was arrested along with his accomplices, 18-year-old Joseph Ochanni and Raymond Kakaan, who also confessed to have sold guns to many people, including a soldier.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ejir was nabbed by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad who stormed his factory in Usambe village, in the Kwande Local Government Area, Benue State, on August 10.
Our correspondent learnt that a single-barrelled gun and gun parts were also impounded at the factory during the raid.
It was learnt that manhunts were launched for the suspects following the arrest of a four-man robbery gang in the Alagbado area of Lagos State on July 8.
The robbers, identified as Peter Ikumofu (20), Adekunle Adeyemo (21), and 18-year-old Emeka Onyekachi, were said to have robbed a hotel and traders in the community around 10pm on the fateful day.
It was learnt that Ikumofu had bought a berretta pistol reportedly used for the robbery from Kakaan for N40,000. He was said to have led the police to Kakaan’s house in Usambe, where two single-barrelled guns were recovered.
Ejir told the police that he learnt how to make guns last year, adding that he sold five guns to Kakaan for N30,000 each.
He said, “In February 2014, I decided to learn welding. My boss taught me how to construct guns and I started making them myself since he died in December last year.
“I have sold five guns to Raymond (Kakaan) for N30,000 each. I also bought 30 live ammunition from him at the rate of N300 per one and resold each for N400. The AK47 rifle engine that was recovered from my shop by the police belonged to my late boss.”
Kakaan said Ikumofu, one of the robbers, had bought the gun from him on the pretext that he wanted to use it to protect himself from some cultists, who were reportedly threatening his life.
He said, “I am an NCE holder. I sat for UTME last year to continue my education in the university and scored 224. I was introduced to Ejir in March by one Nevkaa. I sold one of the five pistols I bought from him to one Mr. Jackson, a soldier for N50,000. It was Joseph (Ochani) that brought Peter (Ikumofu) to me that he needed a gun to protect himself. The two remaining guns were recovered from my house.”
A police prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuehi brought the six suspects before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on five counts bordering on armed robbery and illegal dealing in arms and ammunition.
The charges, according to the police, contravene sections 409, 297, 295, and 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
The defendants’ pleas were not taken by the presiding magistrate, Mrs. O.A. Olayinka, who ordered that they be remanded in prison, adding that their case file should be forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Olayinka adjourned the case till November 30, 2015.