The Nigeria Police appears to be very busy up-scaling its crime-fighting strategies, but very weak in policing its weapons. A damning report has already indicted the police in the area of policing its weapons.
According to a report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), 178,459 firearms and ammunition belong to the police are missing or unaccounted for. The audit reviewed the arms movement register, monthly returns of arms and ammunition and ammunition register at the armoury section.
Of the high number 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 are missing in Police Mobile Force (PMF) 1-68.
Records obtained from force armament unit at the Force Headquarters showed 21 Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron, Abuja, did not report a single case of missing firearm, whereas the schedule of missing arms obtained from the same PMF 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 audit report said, pointing out that 10 contracts totalling 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 said.
Continuing, the report said the sum of N924.985 million was paid for 11 contracts involving the 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 (SRV), store issue voucher (SIV), job completion certificate were not presented for audit examination.
The report said items claimed to have been constructed/supplied at the Force Headquarters, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) unit and (PMF 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.
The audit also revealed an illegal deduction of N62.2 billion by the Nigeria Customs Service in one year.
In the report of NCS’ summary of monthly revenue collection in 2017, total collections for federation account were N691,266,115,031.44 billion.
However, the report of NCS collections and remittance into the federation account in 2017 showed actual remittance into federation account with the CBN for the year under review to be N629,023,135,024.57 billion. A comparison of these two documents revealed an under remittance of N62,242,980,006.87 billion.
The audit had been presented with two separate reports, namely NCS summary of monthly revenue collection, 2017, and NCS collections and remittance into federation account, 2017.
The audit report also said the sum of N6,281,256 billion was paid for contracts/services not executed by five ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has the highest amount of N4.547 billion, while Federal Government College, Enugu, has the least amount of N3,074 million, according to the 2019 audit report that was posted on the website of the AuGF.
The report revealed that the sum of N5,166 billion was advanced not retired in 23 MDAs, and the House of Representatives has the highest advance not retired of N2.808 billion while NPA has the least amount of N17,000.
Meanwhile, the auditor-general’s report also indicted the Nigeria Immigration Service of retaining three officers who ought to have retired from the Service between 2010 and 2017 upon attaining the compulsory retirement age of 60 years but were still in service as the time of audit in January, 2020.
The affected officers were born in 1950, 1956 and 1957 respectively. The continued stay in service of the officers had cost government avoidable payment of salaries of N37.955 million.
In a similar vein, the sum of N2.550 billion was granted to federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives as running costs between July and December 2019. The money was shared to all the lawmakers from the six geopolitical zones.
There was no evidence to show what the funds were used for, and there were no retirement documents despite requests, the audit report said.