Insecurity: Nigerians Express Worry Over 178,459 Missing Arms In NPF
— Fish out culprits, House of Reps tell IGP
By Our Reporters
More Nigerians are worried over report of missing 178,459 arms and ammunition in the Nigerian Police Force.
In fact, 15, out of 20 Nigerians that spoke to NewsOrient on the development yesterday evening and today expressed shock that an armed force, like the Nigerian Police Force, would lose such a large amount of its arms and ammunition without precise account of the officers to hold accountable for it, especially in a country like Nigeria where insecurity has continued to be a major source of concern to all.
Out of the 20 Nigerians that were interviewed in a vox pop conducted by NewsOrient on the matter, only five (5) argued that in a force as large as the NPF, it would be expected that some arms and ammunition may either get damaged or even get lost, suggesting that it should not be a reason to lose confidence in the NPF or to create fear among the people.
However, 15, out of the 20 Nigerians we spoke to on this matter said it is a matter of grave concern that NPF will lose such amount of arms and ammunition, creating the fear that these arms may have ended up in the hands of dangerous terrorists and other criminals tormenting Nigerians.
They therefore called on the Federal Government to arrest the theives that stole the arms and to recover all.
This is even as the House of Representatives commences investigation into the disappearance of the 178,459 arms and ammunition, belonging to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Already, the House has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to urgently apprehend those culpable.
This followed adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu.
It would be recalled that the disappearance of the arms and ammunition was first made public through the 2019 Report of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
While making the motion, the lawmaker, Hon. Okechukwu, reportedly said the audit of Arms Movement Register, Monthly Returns of Arms and Ammunition, and Ammunition Register at the Armoury Section of the Police revealed that lost firearms, as at December 2018, was 178,459 pieces.
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 at January 2020.
The report said: “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.
“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 year 2000 and February 2019.”
Lawmakers have also pointed out that “the value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination.”