BY OBUTE JAMES
The House of Representatives on Thursday directed its ad hoc to investigate the alleged disappearance of about 178,459 arms and ammunition of Nigeria Police Force.
The House Resolution was sequel to a Motion of Urgent Public Importance by Hon. Toby Okechukwu, House Deputy Minority Leader.
The motion was Seconded by Hon. Wale Raji, Chairman, House Services.
Speaking on the motion tilted: “NEED TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED MISSING FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION OF THE NIGERIA POLICE” Hon. Toby Okechukwu directed the attention of the House to the 2019 report of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on alleged disappearance of about 178,459 different arms and ammunition of the Nigeria Police Force in 2019 which was recently reported in national daily newspapers.
He Noted that the audit of Arms Movement Register, Monthly Returns of Arms and Ammunition and Ammunition Register at the Armoury Section reveals that a total number of lost firearms as at December 2018 stood at 178,459 pieces.
“Also Notes that out of this number, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles, 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols across different police formations, which could not be accounted for as at January 2020.
“Aware of the findings in the report that the police high command failed to keep record of unserviceable and expired firearms and ammunition; owing to non-compliance to the internal control system of the Nigeria Police Force.
Also Aware that records of the total number of unserviceable firearms were not produced for examinations and there were no returns from Adamawa State Command, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 46, 56, 64 and 68 for the period under review.
“Alarmed that dully completed Treasury Form 146 (loss of stores) were not presented. Records obtained from force armament at Force Headquarters showed 21 Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron, Abuja did not report a single case of missing firearm, whereas schedule of missing arms obtained from the same PMF showed a total of 46 missing arms between year 2000 and February 2019.
“Worried that the value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination.
“Mindful of the worsening state of security, kidnapping and banditry in the country and concerned that the missing arms could have found their ways into the wrong hands.
“Also Mindful that Nigeria did not undertake any war in recent times,” he said.
He prayed that the House resolve to:
“Mandate the Committee on Public Accounts to establish the veracity of those allegations and conduct due diligence of the control processes of the armoury of the Nigeria Police Force; and report back to the House within four (4) weeks,
“Call on the Inspector General of Police to take urgent actions to apprehend those culpable for the depletion of the armoury of the Nigeria Police Force; and mandate the House Committee on Police Affairs to report back to the House within four (4) weeks.”
Following the amendment by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, the House resolved that an ad hoc committee headed by Hon. Hassan Fulata, Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business investigate the allegation.