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Reps to probe 178,459 missing police arms

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the alleged disappearance of about 178,459 arms and ammunition belonging to the police. It also ordered the Inspector- General of Police Baba Usman to apprehend those behind the disappearance of the items. The resolutions were taken following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu. Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said the alleged disappearance of the about 178,459 different arms and ammunition of the police armouries was contained in the 2019 report of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

He also said the audit of Arms Movement Register, Monthly Returns of Arms and Ammunition and Ammunition Register at the Armoury Section of Police revealed that a total number of lost firearms as of December 2018 stood at 178,459 pieces. Okechukwu explained that out of 178,459 missing arms, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles, 3,907 assorted rifles, and pistols across different Police formations, which could not be accounted for as of January 2020.

He said: “Aware that the findings in the report that the police high command failed to keep a 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) was not pre- sented. Records obtained from force armament at Force Headquarters showed 21PoliceMobileForce(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 2000 and February 2019.” The lawmaker said the value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination. He observed that with the security challenges facing the country, particularly kidnapping and banditry, the missing arms could have found their way into the wrong hands. The motion was unanimously adopted through a voice vote.

 

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