The immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, has finally broken silence on the gunrunning allegation against him, saying that some of the armouries in question were mainly supplied by the current governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Recall that Mr Amosun, during the weekend, had surrendered 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the 1000 units of AK47 rifles, two million rounds of ammunition,1000 units of bulletproof vests and 500 bullet proof helmets and other security communication gadgets allegedly acquired before the 2019 governorship elections in the state.
The development stirred ruckus across various quarters with some calling for the arrest and prosecution of the ex-governor for violating sections of the Nigeria Firearms Act, which forbids individuals and civilian institutions from illegally operating armouries or possessing prohibited firearms.
However, in a statement signed on Wednesday by Mr Amosun’s is Media Aide, Rotimi Durojaiye, described as laughable the insinuation that the security assets were quickly handed over to the Police in order that hide it from the new administration.
“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).” Mr Amosun said.
“We got all necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to procure the 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the 1000 units of AK47 rifles, two million rounds of ammunition,1000 units of bulletproof vests and 500 bullet proof 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 NSA issued the State the End User Certificate Serial Number 000001123 dated March 5, 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 April 10, 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 April 22, 2012…,” the statement explained.
Noting the strict procedures for purchase, handling, storage and documentation of security merchandise, Amosun said they were satisfied that extant approvals, regulations and protocols were observed and complied with in this instance.
“Without going into the details and thereby breaching conventions, 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.”
“We say with pride that our substantial investment and commitment to security paid off. Ogun State won several international and local security awards. Companies returned to our shores in even higher numbers. Thankfully, under Senator Amosun’s watch, Ogun State did not record any unexplained death or political assassination throughout…
“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 May 28, 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,” he said.