About 178,459 different types of arms and ammunition got missing from the Police armory in 2019 without any trace or formal report on their whereabouts, an audit report of the Auditor General of the Federation has stated.
Of the figure, the details showed that 88,078 AK-47 rifles, 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols from different formations nationwide could not be accounted for as at January 2020.
Details of the missing arms were contained from pages 383 to 391 of the “Auditor-General for the Federation annual report on non-compliance/internal control weaknesses issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government of Nigeria for the year ended 31st December 2019” submitted by the office of the auditor general to the National Assembly.
Referenced AuGF/AR.2019/02, it report was addressed to the Clerk to the National Assembly.
Similarly, it was dated 15th September 2021 and signed by the Auditor General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu.
The report also accused the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force of lacking comprehensive details of unserviceable weapons, fearing that such could fall into some authorised hands for illegal use.
A letter attached to the report stated that “in accordance with section 85(2) and (4) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I have the pleasure to submit to the National Assembly, two copies of the Auditor General for the Federation’s annual report on the non-compliance/internal weaknesses issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended 31st December, 2019”.
The report stated that the action contravenes paragraph 2603 of the Financial Regulations which stipulates that “in the event of any loss of stores, the officer in charge of the store in which the loss occur shall report immediately to the head of department or unit but not later than three (3) days, by the fastest means possible if the loss occurs away from headquarters.”
The reports stated thus “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 forty six (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 ammunitions 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.
“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.
“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.”
In the same vein, the Auditor General also queried the Police Force hierarchy for expending the sum of N3,271,439,688:30 as payment for award of contracts above approval threshold without evidence of project execution.
It added that 10 contracts worth N1,136,715,200.00 were awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies with details of the three companies as the same.
“The three companies did not disclose their relationship in accordance with the fundamental principles of procurement as required by extant regulations”, it stated.
The report also indicted the Police Force for paying the sum of N924.985 million for eleven (11) contracts involving construction of three (3) units of Gunshot Spotter System, supply of fifty (50) units of Ballistic Roller Trolley and twenty (20) units of Ballistic Mobile Surveillance House in some selected Commands and Formations without evidence of project execution.
The report therefore asked the Inspector General of Police to provide details of the expenditure to the Public Accounts Committee, PAC, of the both the Senate and House of Representatives of the National Assembly and account for the funds as well as answer to other irregularities.