Disagreement broke out yesterday in Criminal Court ‘A’ when the National Security Agency (NSA) denied that the defendant ‘possessed’ the gun in question illegally. Illegal firearm possession is one of the series of charges brought against Michael Samukai by the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The police claim that the pistol used by Samukai, when he allegedly shot Zardee Andrews at the Tropicana Breach, in Paynesville, on September 13 last year was illegally acquired, despite Samukai’s testimony that he is an employee of the agency and therefore duly authorized to carry the weapon.
Samukai’s other charges are aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit murder.
Based upon the claim and counter claim, Samukai’s legal team asked the court to summon the authority of the NSA to provide clarity on the issue.
NSA’s Chief of Armory, Titus J. Nyankun, testified that the gun used during the incident was duly registered and issued to the defendant by the NSA.
“Samukai was employed on April 2, 2012 as an agent of the NSA after completing the training before the agency’s Director, Fomba Sirleaf, instructed me to issue him the arm, which I did immediately,” the defense witness said.
“He is a trained case officer who is qualified to carry firearms,” Nyankun said, adding “Samukai is an employee of the NSA.”
The witness described the weapon as a Fabric National Pistol (FNP) 45 with series number 61DMR10657.
“The physical look is gray, the grip of the pistol is black and for operational purpose it carries 17 magazines in an operational zone,” he said. “If the user is in a less operational zone, he or she should carry between 12 to 15 rounds.”
He did not explain which operational zone Samukai was in when Andrews was shot.
Nyankun, who quoted from the NSA’s Standard Operational Procedure manual on “Firearm and Weapon Requirement,” said it provides that “before a gun permit is issued to an agent of the NSA, the said person should be trained and meet all physiological requirements.”
Although, Nyankun did not produce the original copy of Samukai’s gun permit, he told the court that he was informed only to bring the photo copy of the document.