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Missing arms not peculiar to Police alone -Wase

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DEPUTY Speaker of the House Of Representatives Idris Wase said the issue of missing arms might not be limited to the Police alone.

Idris Wase said this during a debate on the missing 178,459 Police arms.

The ICIR had reported that the auditor general for the federation recently flagged over 88,000 missing arms, primarily AK-47 assault rifles, saying they could not be accounted for by the Police.


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While commenting on the motion, the deputy speaker said the adhoc committee already set up by the House would be allowed to carry out the criminal aspect of the investigation as the House Committee on Public Accounts would investigate the whereabouts of the arms under its constitutional mandate.

Wase said there were lots of information that he was keeping to himself and said the issue of missing arms might not be limited to the Police.

However, the House of Representatives has resolved to conduct a comprehensive investigation into circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 178,459 firearms from the armoury of the Nigeria Police.

The House took the decision on Thursday following a motion of urgent public importance brought by the Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu), on the need to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing arms and those responsible for them.

The missing firearms and ammunition were contained in a report released from the Office of the Auditor-General on non-compliance /internal control weakness issues across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal government,  which states that as of December 2018, about 3907 firearms were unaccounted for.

Okechukwu directed attention to the ongoing fight against terrorism and banditry, stating that these arms could have found their way into the wrong hands.

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“Aware of 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.

“Alarmed that duly completed Treasury Form 146 (loss of stores) was 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 the year 2000 and February 2019,” he stated.

The deputy minority leader expressed worry that the value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination.

ICIR investigation shows that theft and illegal sales of firearms and ammunition by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force to criminals could be the primary reason responsible for the missing 178,459 firearms and ammunition across all Police commands, zonal formations and other departments of the NPF.

The report states that out of the 178,459 firearms and ammunition, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles and 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols that disappeared from different formations nationwide. All these could not be accounted for as of January 2020.

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