Worried by the rising cases of armed violence and kidnapping in Nigeria, a human rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo, has written an application to President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting for licence to possess a 6.147 premium AK47 assault riffle to defend himself.
The lawyer, in the application dated July 8, 2021, said he is medically fit, temperate inhabit, of sound mind and has not been convicted of any offence involving violence or threat to violence in the last five years.
According to him, Fire Arms Act 2004 empowers the president to licence applicants.
He said: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on you by Section 3 of the Fire Arms Act Cap. F 28, Laws of the Federation 2004 and in view of the high level of insecurity ravaging the country, I humbly apply to your excellency, for licence to possess and own a 6.147 premium AK 47 assault rifle to defend my person, family and property from unlawful violence from criminals armed with AK 47 assault riffle, sophisticated and lethal weapons.”
The activist, who added that he would pay all statutory fees involved in the acquisition, explained the Section 4 and 5 of the Fire Arms Act show the categories of firearms that Nigerians are allowed to bear.
“Section 3 of the Fire Arms Act, provides that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm of one of the categories specified in Part I of the Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred to as a “prohibited firearm”) except in accordance with a licence granted by the President, acting in his discretion.
Pointing out that certain types of firearms are prohibited, Omirhobo stated by the provision of the law, Nigerian citizens are not permitted to bear the kind of arms, which only the military, police, DSS and other para-military agencies bear.
“For any Nigerian to bear them, he must apply to the president of Nigeria for a licence, which is dependent on the discretion of the president.
“No Nigerian dead or alive has been able to apply for these categories of Fire Arms due to fear and largely ignorance of the provisions of the law. In the face of insecurity in Nigeria, many Nigerians have talked about the need for Nigerians to bear arms,” he recalled, regretting that nobody has taken the pains to apply for firearms under the category recognised by law.
He stressed that the governours have not even considered making any formal application to the president for AK 47, which is commonly used by bandits and terrorists.