The Police have reportedly kept mum after Ibikunle Amosun, immediate past governor of Ogun State, surrendered 1,000 AK47 rifles, 1,000 units of bulletproof vests and an armoured personnel carrier (APC).
Amosun was said to have kept the arms in the state house claiming they were needed to combat the rising cases of insecurity in the state. He however surrendered them to the police hours to the expiration of his tenure as governor. He claimed to have kept them at the State House to prevent their indiscriminate allocation.
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Bashir Makama, the Commissioner of Police in the state, had received the weapons along with his subordinates at the State House and driven them to the command headquarters in Elewe-Eran, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Premium Times reports that since the recovery, the police are yet to commence a probe into the unlawful acquisition of arms by a civilian governor. It said Frank Mba, the force spokesman, directed that all questions be sent to Makama.
When Premium Times sent a set of five questions to Makama, he declined to respond. This was despite his initial promises that he would respond to the enquiries once he received the questions, which were sent to his telephone line and also through the state police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi.
Some of the clarifications sought from him included whether he asked Amosun the source of the weapons before or after he accepted them, whether it was appropriate for a civilian governor to stockpile a massive cache of weapons and why he was yet to escalate the matter to Force Headquarters nearly a month later.
Some Nigerian security operatives who spoke with the newspaper expressed surprise that a civilian governor would create an armoury and store thousands of arms there. They also questioned why Amosun had not been arrested and prosecuted for violating sections of the Nigeria Firearms Act which forbids individuals and civilian institutions from illegally operating armouries or possessing prohibited firearms, including artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosive or gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine-guns and machine-pistols, military rifles (namely those of calibres 7.62 mm, 9 mm, .300 inches and .303 inches), revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
It remains unclear how the former governor got the weapons as the Nigeria Customs Service has said they were not cleared from its ports.
Premium Times added that Amosun has also kept mum as enquiries sent to him were unanswered. Rotimi Durojaiye, his media adviser, had also ignored mails sent to him.
Amosun’s anointed candidate for the March 9 governorship election, Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), had been defeated by Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress, raising suspicions he only gave up the weapons knowing the current governor would not cover him up.