Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the immediate past governor of Ogun State, has denied a report which accused him of directly keeping in his possession 1,000 AK47 assault rifles and two million rounds of ammunition at Government House in Abeokuta, the state capital.
According to a report published on Monday by Premium Times, an online news medium, Senator Amosun, who currently represents Ogun Central senatorial district, submitted the weapons and ammunition to the Nigeria Police Force just before the expiration of his tenure.
But in a statement issued by his media, Rotimi Durojaiye, on Tuesday, Senator Amosun said the weapons and ammunition were not in his custody as the report implied.
He admitted that the security hardware was purchased by the Ogun State government with prior permission from the Federal Government in 2012, adding that the armaments were supplied directly to the Police and not kept at the Government House.
The former Ogun governor stated that some other equipment purchased, including Armoured Personnel Carriers, bulletproof vests, bulletproof helmets and security communication gadgets, were kept in the Government House armoury under strict police surveillance.
Senator Amosun defended the purchase of the security equipment, saying they were needed to tackle the security crisis he inherited when he assumed office as governor in 2011.
The statement read: “Senator Ibikunle Amosun took the firm view that nothing would thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity. He, therefore, decided that early to confront the myriad security challenges headlong and thereby open up Ogun State to private investment under a secured environment.
“The SIA administration convened a security parley amongst all stakeholders. The parley gave rise to the Ogun State Security Trust Fund (STF) under the leadership of a former Nigerian national security adviser. The deliberations and recommendations of the STF and the far-reaching initiatives of the government have delivered consistent peace of mind, economic prosperity and social progress for all within the borders of Ogun State and even beyond since 2012.
“We note with immense pride that the same Ogun State, generally regarded as a backwater state in terms of security rallied round strongly to emerge as one of the most peaceful and the best place to work and live in Nigeria.
“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 the procurement of hard and software, 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.”
Senator Amosun noted that the supplier of the arms and ammunition was an accredited agent nominated by the Police, who also supervised the entire process.
The Ogun lawmaker quashed the report’s claim that he quickly submitted various security equipment to the Police, explaining that the May 28 handover was not the first one he had conducted while he served as governor.
He noted that the Police had earlier received some armaments on April 22, 2012, adding that Mohammed Abubakar, the then Inspector General of Police, commended the Ogun State government for such enormous donation.
Senator Amosun insisted that “NOT A SINGLE AK 47 RIFLE was handed over” at the May 28 event, contrary to media reports.
The statement read: “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 the general public.”