Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has finally opened up on the controversial importation of one thousand AK47 assault rifles and ammunition into the country.
Reports had indicated that Amosun imported the military hardwares without appropriate permits and decided to hand them over to the Police toward the end of his tenure. The reports had accused him of attempting to armed miscreants ahead of the general elections but for increased security presence.
Reacting to the reports, Amosun in a statement issued by his media aide, Rotimi Durojaiye admitted handing over some armoured vehicles and light weapons to the Ogun State Police Command at the twilight of his government, but vehemently denied that guns were involved in the handing over exercise. He explained that his administration had sought and obtained approvals from relevant quarters including the Presidency, Customs and the National Security Adviser.
“The SIA administration sought help from the then President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government. First, we sought and got approval to set up “OP MESA” for Ogun State. We followed this up with the specialized QRS unit. We committed substantial funds into procurement of hard and soft ware, and, myriad security assets to decisively combat our security challenges.
“We got all necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser to procure the 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the 1000 units of AK 47 rifles, 2 million rounds of ammunition,1000 units of bulletproof vests and 500 bulletproof helmets and other security communication gadgets.
“Ogun State not only got approval to import these essential assets, the federal administration under President Goodluck Jonathan, gave all requisite approvals to assist the state. The federal government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) issued the State the End User Certificate Serial Number 000001123 dated 5th of March, 2012. The Federal Ministry of Finance also granted Import Duty Exemption Certificate through a letter from the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy with Reference Number BO/R.10260/S.4/T.4/22 dated 10th April, 2012.
“Indeed, the supplier was an accredited agent of the Nigeria Police Force nominated for the job by the force, who also monitored and supervised the transaction. The security materials were cleared through the Murtala Muhammed Airport and confirmed through Nigeria Customs Memo NCS/MMAC/012/S.1. The materials were publicly handed over to the Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar on 22nd April, 2012 wherein he acknowledged that: ‘I have served in all six geographical zones of this country. I have never seen the kind of equipment you are donating to security agents today. This is the first of such maximum donation I have ever seen since I have been serving as a police officer.’
“Suffice to say categorically that the AK47 rifles were supplied directly to the Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command. The rest of the merchandise were securely kept in the approved designated armoury within the Government House precincts under police surveillance as it obtains in most Government Lodges, to guarantee exclusive use of the materials in Ogun State. These are not matters for the public.
“The suggestion that the security assets were quickly handed over to the police in order that the new administration will not know about it is laughable because the current Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR was the main supplier of some of the assets in question, notably, the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
“As a governor who understood and took the responsibilities of his office seriously, Senator Amosun was mindful to account for and properly hand over the remainder of the security items to the police and the new administration. On 28 May, 2019, the last of the APCs, and all other security assets under the custody of Ogun State Government were passed over to the police in full glare of the media and general public. We believed that was the surest way to prevent these assets getting into the wrong hands.”