No fewer than 178,459 different types of arms and ammunition have been declared missing from the Nigeria Police armoury in 2019 without any trace or formal report on their whereabouts.
The latest development was disclosed via an audit report by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF).
The Star reports that the details of the missing arms were contained from pages 383 to 391 of the Auditor General of the Federation’s annual report on non- compliance/internal control weaknesses issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government for the year ended December 31, 2019, and submitted to the National Assembly.
According to the report on the missing arms which could not be accounted for as of January 2020, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles and 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols from different formations nationwide.
The report referenced AuGF/AR.2019/02 and addressed to the Clerk to the National Assembly, was dated September 15, 2021, and signed by the Auditor General for the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu,
The OAuGF, in the report, accused the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) of lacking comprehensive details of unserviceable weapons, noting that such could fall into some authorized hands for illegal use.
The AuGF report noted: “Audit observed from the review of Arms Movement Register, Monthly Returns of Arms and Ammunition and Ammunition Register at the Armoury section that a total number of lost firearms as reported as at December 2018 stood at 178,459 pieces.
“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. Formal report on the loss of firearms through dully completed Treasury Form 146 (loss of stores) were not presented for examination.
“Records obtained from force armament at the 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 number of 46 missing arms between year 2000 and February 2019.
“The value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination.
“The above anomalies could be attributed to weaknesses in the internal control system at the Nigeria Police Force Armament. Several numbers of firearms from the review of arm issue register, monthly returns of arms and ammunition obtained from Force Armament, Force Headquarters for various States Commands, Formations, Zonal offices, Training Institutions, squadrons and physical inspection of firearms and ammunition at the Force Headquarters have become unserviceable and dysfunctional.”
It further stated, “Similarly, returns were not submitted by some Police Training Institutions and some Formations, and Physical verification of firearms and ammunition at the Force Armament, Force Headquarters showed large quantity of damaged and obsolete firearms which needed to be destroyed.
“The damaged and obsolete firearms and ammunition should be treated in line with Financial Regulations 2618 which requires the destruction to be carried out in such a manner as to render the firearms unusable for their original purpose.”
The AuGF report, which disclosed that no fewer than 10 contracts worth N1,136,715,200 were awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies with details of the three companies as the same, queried the police hierarchy for the award of contracts without evidence of project execution.
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