A report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has revealed that over 88,000 AK-47 rifles and other firearms and ammunition in the custody of the Nigerian Police Force are missing or unaccounted for. The audit reviewed arms movement register, monthly returns of arms and ammunition and ammunition register at the armoury section.
In the number given, 88,078 AK-47 rifles, 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols across different police formations could not be accounted for as of January 2020. A breakdown of the missing firearms showed that 601 firearms are missing from 15 training institutions; 42 in 23 formations; 1514 missing in 37 police commands; 29 missing in zone 1-12 were not also reported as required by law, with 1,721 firearms missing in Police Mobile Force.
Records received from force armament unit at the Force Headquarters showed 21 Police Mobile Force Squadron, Abuja, did not report a single case of missing firearm, whereas the schedule of missing arms obtained from the same Police Mobile Force showed a total number of 46 missing arms between the 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 Auditor-General of the Federation stated.
According to the report, 10 contracts totaling about N1.136 billion were awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies. In the companies’ profiles, the contact phone numbers and email addresses of the three companies were the same.
The three companies did not disclose their relationship in accordance with the fundamental principles of procurement as required by extant regulation, the report stated.
It further stated that the sum of N924.985 million was paid for 11 contracts involving construction of three units of Gunshot Spotter System, supply of 50 units of Ballistic Roller Trolley and 20 units of Ballistic Mobile Surveillance House in some selected Commands and Formations. Final payments were made in March 2019 without evidence of execution. Documents such as end user certificate, store receipt voucher, store issue voucher and job completion certificate were not presented for audit examination.
According to the document, the items claimed to have been constructed/supplied at the Force Headquarters, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command, explosive ordinance disposal unit and Police Mobile Force unit as specified in the award letters revealed that the contracts had not been executed by the time of physical verification of the purported items in June 2020.
Consequently, the auditor-general’s office asked the police force to explain why contracts were awarded to companies owned by the same persons.