Several Nigerian police arms ‘missing, unaccounted for’ — Audit Report

Nigerian police force
Nigerian police force

At least of 44 assorted arms belonging to the Nigerian police could not be accounted for between 2013 and 2015, a government audit report says, raising fears the weapons could have ended up in the wrong hands.

The report, released in two parts between in December 2016 and May 2017, is the latest from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, empowered by the Constitution to examine records of accounts and stores of the country’s public bodies.

In the report reviewed by PREMIUM TIMES, arms as well as rounds of ammunition entrusted to police personnel were said to have been “snatched”, “missing” or “lost”, while standards established by the country’s financial regulations for reporting and checking such incidents were brushed aside by the police.

A security analyst, Cheta Nwanze, said there could be link between the “disappearances of the police arms and sources of arms used by kidnappers and armed robbers”.

“Yes, there is squarely a link between both. The fact is that Nigeria is awash with small arms and many of these characters get their arms from illegal sources. There is clearly a link between violent crimes and the disappearances of the police weapons,” said Mr. Nwanze, who heads SBM Intelligence.

But police spokesperson, Moshood Jimoh, said there was no cause for fear. He said “no police weapon was lost in the first place; so, there was no way police- owned guns could have ended up with criminals.”

But the report said at Umuagwu Police Division, Owerri West local government area of Imo State, assault rifles with 28 rounds of 5.56 mm calibre ammunition was reported “lost” by one police inspector while on duty on February 5, 2015.

Elsewhere in Imo, Umuagwo, Ohaji local government area, ‘five arms (3 AK-47 and 2 AR rifles) recorded in Arms/Ammunition Returns of September 19, 2013 could neither be traced in the latest handover note of the armourer and the Division Police Officer of April 7, 2014 and August 31 2015 respectively nor sighted physically as at the time of the audit inspection on October 14, 2015.’

“The Arms Movement Register could not account for these arms and no document of any sort was presented to the audit team,” the audit report noted.

Also at the Iho Police Division, Ikeduru LGA, again in Imo, the audit report said: “Five (5) LAR rifles were documented in the Arms/Ammunition Ledger/Register whereas in the current returns Ref.

CQ:2400/IMS/IV/VOL.2/152 dated 10th October, 2015 only three (3) Nos. were recognized, leaving a difference of two (2) Nos as at the time of audit inspection on 12th October, 2015.

“One (1) LAR rifle with breech No. 1693452, was said to have been with one Officer, at ‘B’ Operation Department, Owerri but no document was presented to authenticate the transaction. The second LAR rifle with Breech No. 1693989 was officially transferred to ‘B’ Operation via signal.”

Losses in states

According to the audit report, during the audit inspection of arms and ammunition records maintained by the Nigeria Mobile Police Force, Squadron 43 Lion Building, Lagos, reported 25 arms of different models were lost.

It added: “Neither police investigation reports nor completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146 was presented for audit verification, in compliance with Financial Regulations 2604 and 2606.”

During the audit examination of accounting records maintained by the Rivers State Police Command, B Department Operations, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, the Auditor-General of the Federation reported that eight arms made up of six AK 47 rifles and two assault rifles were lost by a police officer.

In addition, the audit report said 147 rounds of ammunition were reportedly lost by officers of the Unit in Rivers.

From Enugu State command, two K-2 rifles were reported to have been ‘snatched by armed robbers from officers at separate places.’

In Enugu, the report observed that: ‘one AK-47 No 9918 was missing. The rifle was signed and collected by one Police Corporal attached to Nkanu West LGA Chairman. This rifle got missing since 5th September, 2014.’

“One (1) AK-47 No 19681 with 30 rounds of ammunition assigned to a police corporal was missing as contained in DTO 210700/08/2015.”

Police authorities’ apathy

For each of the cases, no police internal investigation report was presented to the auditors, according to the report.

Still, the Treasury Form 146 was not also completed and presented. That, Auditor-General of the Federation noted in the report, violates Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2604 2606.

Regulation 2604 imposes duty on the head of unit, say Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Police Commissioner or any formation head in the case of the police, to report a loss not later than seven days to his/her accounting officer, the Inspector-General of Police and recommend convening of a board of ienquiry.

Under regulation 2606, the accounting officer, the IGP is obligated to take necessary actions, including disciplinary measures and further report to the offices of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Auditor-General of the Federation ‘within 14 days”.

“The Inspector-General of Police has been requested to give up-to-date formal report of these missing rifles. Otherwise, the full weight of Financial Regulations 3101 and 3129 (which specify accounting officer or any public officer could be sanctioned for failing give satisfactory explanation to audit queries) will be applied,” said the report.

Apart from loss of these arms, the audit report also questioned the police over various incidents of alleged disappearances of “unclaimed or abandoned exhibits.”

The Auditor General’s report added that through Audit Inspection Report OAuGF/D&SAD/NI/S/AIR/VOL.IV/124, the Police IG, Ibrahim Idris, had been written since June 23, 2016, “but his response is still being awaited.”

The said letter was written just a day after Mr. Idris was appointed IGP by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 22, 2016.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, police spokesperson, Mr. Jimoh, suggested bureaucratic bottlenecks could have caused the delay in the IG’s response.

“It is the IG that keeps the files. He will send it down and the reply will get to the Auditor General,” he said.

Mr. Jimoh also denied the claims in the report although the audit report referenced police own Arms Movement Register and Arms/Ammunition Register.

“Police officers go on special assignments, like being escorts to expatriates, special operations, the Operation Absolute Sanity on Abuja-Kaduna Road, even outside their states. So when the audit officials come, those arms would not be there,” he said.

“Police arms are not lost,” he said firmly.

“When the audit officials come, it is what they see that they talk about. Police will now give account that certain men were on special duty,” Mr. Jimoh said.


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  • TDaniels2

    This is not a small matter! Better to ask goodluck Jonathan Ebele o, check the nîger delta and book haram camps for the missing policy arms. Little wonder why criminality of all kinds have exploded across the country in the last few years! When the guards have be come the villains!

  • Akinmolu Awobadejo

    Premium Times Editor,

    DO YOU PEOPLE KNOW that there is no electricity for one minute in Lagos today? Do you know?
    Why did President Buhari give Nigerians public holiday only to put everybody in darkness now?
    This Buhari government is too useless – nothing good in it, just totally useless for all purposes.
    Sallah was yesterday but some people killed their own rams to eat today, why declare Monday
    as public holiday again?

    Do the Muslims need Sunday and Monday holidays to sort of digest their rams, or, what for?
    You people are talking of guns missing. Do you not hear gunshots all over the Lagos Island
    almost everyday? From Tom Jones through Massey hospital up to Obalende the youths have
    declared a war zone of heavy shooting in the afternoon and even at night too. Where do
    you think those guns came from? Just add two and two together, my brothers, you hear?
    Nigeria is a failed state under Muhamadu Buhari. No law and order. Just nonsense!!

    • Datti

      Sorry, I don’t know where you live ‘in’ Lagos but those of us in Lagos have electricity supply

      • Jayjay is Okay

        @datti:disqus

        Who are you to come and tell lies here? Who are you? Look, my friend if Buhari sent you here to come
        and tell lies, just tell him he’s wasting his time. We are tired of anything to do with anything called Buhari.
        You hear me?

        Tell him that this Nigeria is not a mosque for Muslims only. The Buhari man has no good sense or anything
        called initiative. Government can say any rubbish that inflation is 16.3%, what we know is that price of all
        things in the market have doubled or even tripled since this Buhari resumed work as the worst president.

        Can Nigerians tolerate, even endure, two more years of Muhamadu Buhari? Me i don’t think so myself.
        No electricity here in Lagos Island. What sort of government is this? What’s the meaning of Sallah even?
        Darkness is the same thing as Sallah under this very illiterate and local man called Muhamadu Buhari.
        His Minister for Power – Raji Fashola – is even worse than useless, but just struggling to speak English.

  • Frank Bassey

    SENATOR MISAU CARTED THEM AWAY.

    • Man_Enough

      And sold them to Niagara security service.

  • Tommy Soto

    “not be accounted for between 2013 and 2015”

    thank you mr. journalist for saving my eyes and my time from reading the entire article.

  • Dazmillion

    Any surprise here, moving along

    • jamajake

      Not at all

  • MilitaryPolice01

    A security analyst, Cheta Nwanze, said there could be link between the “disappearances of the police arms and sources of arms used by kidnappers and armed robbers”
    ———————————————-
    Mr Nwanze said it all, no need reading the rest, if anything I am surprised it is 44 missing and not 44,000. What a country

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      He did not say it all, they also supply BH weapons .

      • Dan Blocker 2000

        @MilitaryPolice01:disqus

        A Question for Muhamadu Buhari

        • What intelligent steps have you taken against Nigeria’s 17th-month running, ruinous
        economic recession, after wasting away 103 days in London; under false pretence
        that you were being detained by medical doctors; whereas you weren’t, since no one
        or medical doctor discharged you from your illusive medical detention before you rose
        and ran away from your hiding place, the next day, once Nigerians resident in London
        stormed your hiding place under the banner of RESUME or RESIGN to protest what
        they said was “an unbecoming laggard act of reckless abandonment of official duty”?

        • I. D. Noble

          MUHAMADU BUHARI IS A HATE SPEECH THAT SHOULD NOT BE DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC.

  • GusO

    As someone who lives in the US, my first inclination is to ask that the NPF be disbanded because it’s a lawless organization with no accounting whatsoever for such serious issues as missing firearms for which a police officer should account for or be fired and prosecuted. But I know that disbanding the force will not solve the issues because those who will replace them have no other experiences but observing how corrupt the present police forces are and will just take off as corrupt cops just like their predecessors. But still, we need some transparent States like Lagos, Edo and Anambra for examples to setup state police departments initially under the leadership of Nigerians serving in various police departments in the US to instill discipline and non-corrupt culture on a new generation of policemen in Nigeria. That’s the way we will have the beginnings of non-corrupt police forces in Nigeria. It’s inconceivable that the current crop of Nigeria’s policemen will sell their guns to criminals and terrorists and get no consequences for doing so.

  • Arabakpura

    They have sold them!

  • FreeNigeria

    Nigerian policemen are criminals

    • Iskacountryman

      nyamiris are their best customers…

      • Kickboxer

        Terrorist Sheekcaow….stop running like a RODENT from one cleric’s and politician’s home to another…..release our remaining girls or go meet 72 virgins; it is your turn to blow up yourself

        • Iskacountryman

          ya gals?..

  • Bright Ezeh

    Nigerian Police

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    Police spokesperson Jimoh is unfit for the role of information link to the public. His lack of candor blows a hole of NPF’s tattered robe of integrity.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Most Nigerian police officers, have strong criminal link with armed robbers and kidnappers, as shown through the investigations of the chief kidnapper,Evans, who currently under trial in Nigerian court.Hopefully, our bribery tained judges and justices, would ensure the kidnapper,Evans, should face trial to the core and be punished severely as many lives have been lost in the hands of Evans and his gangsters over the years.. .