Former Ogun governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has not accounted for at least 780 bullets in the boxes of ammunition he handed over to the police on May 28, police commissioner, Bashir Makama, has told Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu.
The discovery could bolster suspicion that Mr Amosun might not have handed over all the weapons in his possession to the police — a puzzle Nigerians have said only a thorough inquiry could unravel.
In an urgent report which Mr Makama filed to Mr Adamu on June 27 — following a PREMIUM TIMES story about how Mr Amosun illegally stockpiled powerful weapons inside Government House, Abeokuta, for an extended period — the police chief said one of the boxes of AK 47 bullets that Mr Amosun handed over to the police was met opened.
In the June 27 memo, Mr Makama said Mr Amosun handed over 1,201 boxes, each holding 1,200 AK 47 bullets.
However, “one of the boxes was met opened and contains four hundred and twenty (420) rounds of live ammunition.”
Due to the missing bullets, the police chief said the 1,201 boxes contained only 1,440,420, instead of 1,441,200 that should have been there.
He also said 271 bulletproof vests and one armoured personnel carrier were amongst the items released to the police by Mr Amosun, and reiterated that no AK 47 rifles were received at the hurriedly-arranged handover ceremony because they had been donated to the police since 2012.
Although Mr Makama appeared to corroborate Mr Amosun’s claim that only bullets, vests and an armoured personnel carrier were passed to the police a day before he concluded his two terms of eight years, the report did not show any connection between the AK47 rifles which Mr Amosun gave to the police in 2012 and the ammunition he surrendered in May 2019.
The report only said 1,000 AK 47 rifles were delivered to the police on July 20, 2012, by Joseph Ameh of Pointec Corporation on behalf of Mr Amosun. It also said the all the 1,000 guns were distributed to divisions across Ogun State and could still be accounted for as of the last audit in December 2018.
Mr Makama, however, failed to clarify to Mr Adamu why Mr Amosun did not hand over the bullets to the police at the time he gave them 1,000 rifles, especially as Mr Amosun claimed in his response to PREMIUM TIMES that the arms and ammunition were imported at the same time with the same end-user certificate, import waiver and customs clearance.
A top police source familiar with the report said Mr Makama might have failed to explain whether or not there was a connection between the 2012 guns that the police received and the 2019 ammunition because he was a new commissioner in Ogun.
“He failed to establish a nexus between the AK47 arms from 2012 and the ammunition from a few weeks ago,” the police chief said. “We are not sure yet whether the IG would order an additional probe into this crucial but missing part of the controversy.”
Mr Makama declined comments to PREMIUM TIMES for this story, referring all enquiries to Mr Amosun as the person to answer for the missing bullets. Mr Amosun and his media aide, Rotimi Durojaiye, also declined to return multiple requests for comments between July 5 and 11.
Lawyers have raised a wide array of questions while other Nigerians demanded a thorough investigation into how Mr Amosun came about the weapons he surrendered to the police, warning that failure to do so could embolden deadly criminals that have been terrorising the country.
The ruling All Progressives Congress also joined calls for federal authorities to probe the scandal in the interest of national security, rather than shield Mr Amosun because of his longstanding political bond with President Muhammadu Buhari.