Police Recover Hidden FG Assets, 9,657 Illegal Arms, Others

 

Police authorities say they have recovered monetary and non-monetary assets of the Federal Government hidden in some commercial banks across the country.

They have also recovered a total of 9,657 illegal and prohibited arms and more than 26,000 ammunition in two batches across the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood on Thursday said the nationwide mop up exercise by the police is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act.

According to him, the mop-up began after the expiration of the ultimatum of the deadline given by the force for persons with illegal firearms, weapons and ammunition to turn them in.

Read the full statement by the police below:

PRESS BRIEFING

UPDATE ON THE RECOVERY OF PROHIBITED FIREARMS, ILLEGAL WEAPONS AND LOCALLY FABRICATED LETHAL DEVICES RECOVERED IN THE ONGOING MOP-UP OF FIREARMS/ILLEGAL WEAPONS BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; BY THE FPRO, Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD AT THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA ON 20th SEPTEMBER, 2018.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, on 21st February, 2018 directed the Commissioners of Police of all the State Commands of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the Twelve Zonal Commands in the Country, and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team to immediately commence simultaneously throughout the Country, the mopping-up, recovery of prohibited firearms, ammunition and weapons in the possession of all suspected Militias, Bandits, Armed Herdsmen and Farmers, Vigilante groups, Neighbourhood watch and other groups or Individual(s) or Bodies bearing prohibited firearms and ammunition, illegal weapons and lethal devices whether locally fabricated, modified or otherwise fashioned to kill or that can cause harm or injury to persons or that can cause panic, fear, apprehension, security breach, breach of Public peace or that can cause threat to law and order anywhere in the Country.

2. Consequently, ultimatums of Twenty One (21) days at intervals were given by the Force for voluntary return of all prohibited firearms in the hands of members of the General Public, individuals and groups such as Vigilantes and neighbourhood watch groups in any of the Thirty Six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the Seven Hundred and Seventy Four (774) Local Government Areas of the Federation, Town Unions, Hunters and Watch night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise, other than Security Agencies recognized statutorily and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category; after the expiration of the grace period and ultimatums, the Commissioners of Police of State Commands, FCT and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team in compliance with IGP’s directives and working on actionable intelligence, swung into actions and embarked on Mop-up, Seizure and Recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from wrong hands, suspected Militias, Militants, Criminal/Unlawful Gangs through search, raid and seizure from identified premises, hideouts, dwelling houses, buildings and sites where these illegal/prohibited firearms were kept based on reasonable suspicion and intelligence and recovered the following prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition:

RECOVERED PROHIBITED FIREARMS
Batch 1 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 6, 527
No. of Ammunition Recovered = 14, 809
Batch 2 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 3, 130
No. of Ammunition Recovered = 12, 185
3. Below are the categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act:
Prohibited Firearms
i. Artillery
ii. Apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile.
iii. Rocket weapons
iv. Bombs and Grenades
v. Machine-Guns and Machine-Pistols
vi. Military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches
vii. Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
viii. Firearms such as Pump action gun of all categories
ix. Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill

4. This operation which is still ongoing among other purposes, is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons and will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with Herders/Farmers Clashes, Kidnappings, Armed Robbery, Cattle Rustling, Militancy and Terrorism etc.

5. EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
On assumption of Office, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni created Special Units to handle high profile cases including Terrorism, Cyber and high-tech crimes, some of which includes the IGP Monitoring Unit, Special Investigation Panel (SIP) and Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism.
As a result of these efforts, the Nigeria Police Force recovered the following monetary and non-monetary assets for the Federal Government.
RECOVERY OF CASH ITEMS
i. The sum of Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cent ($470,519,889.10) belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA.
ii. The sum of Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN8,807,264,834.96) monies belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT, that was not remitted to TSA Account of the Federal Government was also recovered
iii. The Sum of One Hundred and Fourteen Million, Two Hundred And Ninety Thousand Naira, (NGN 114,290,000.00) in relation to the December 10th, 2016, National And State Assembly Re-Run Elections in Rivers State Of Nigeria was recovered from twenty-three (23) INEC Electoral officials.
RECOVERY OF NON-CASH ITEMS
· The Nigeria Police Force in the fight against Economic Sabotage and pipeline vandalism related crimes recovered two (2) Vessels, seven (7) Speed Boats, eight-three (83) Trucks, twenty-five assorted Cars including Jeeps, thirty-six (36) Buses, twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles, five Speed Boat engines and thirty-eight (38) pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators.
Summary of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets recovered
The total recoveries of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets of the Federal Government by the Nigeria Police Force are:

(a) MONETARY ASSETS
· Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cents ($470,519,889.10).
· Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira and Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN 8,921,554,834.96).
(b) NON-MONETARY ASSETS:
· Two (2) Vessels
· Seven (7) Speed Boats
· Eighty-three (83) Tanker Trucks
· Sixty-one (61) assorted Vehicles
· Five (5) Speed Boats Engines
· Twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles
· Thirty-eight (38) Pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators.
6. While the Firearms Mop-up Operations and the recovery of monetary/non-monetary assets of Government are still ongoing, the Nigeria Police Force, therefore, implores Members of the Public with useful information that will assist the Police to report via the following contacts:

DIG Department of Operations: 08037025670
O/C IGP Special Investigation Panel: 08035891859
O/C IGP Monitoring Unit: 08032451594
O/C IGP Intelligence Response Team: 09098049333

7. The commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to guarantee protection of Lives and Property and recovery of Government assets in the hands of unpatriotic individual(s), group(s) or corporate bodies across the country remains unequivocal and unwavering.

Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA

Amount Of Illegal Arms In Nigeria Is Very Worrisome – Ex-British Police Officer

Onyekwelu

The recent seizures of arms, especially pump-action rifles, by the Nigerian Customs Service paints a worrisome picture, a security consultant and former British police officer has said.

Mr Vince Onyekwelu said this on Wednesday while speaking about the interception and seizure by Customs of 2,671 pump-action rifles smuggled into the country between January and September this year.

“Basically, what it means is that for these four consignments of pump-action (rifles) that were luckily impounded, there is a chance that another 100 containers of such weapons have gone through the country,” he said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today with Seun Okinbaloye.

This, according to him, is because the Nigerian Customs Service is not adequately equipped to scan and easily detect illegal weapons.

He explained further that the choice of pump-action rifles is indicative of an interest in close combat, as they are for home defense.

“Pump-action is mostly for people that want to have something to defend themselves and their families at home because it has a very big capacity for close-contact combat and, obviously, you don’t need to be a specialist in targeting because it uses cartridges,” he said.

“What it tells me is that in Nigeria today, because of the poor management of our port authority, port systems, shotguns could be all over the Nigerian market; the fantastic AK-47, bullets, ammunition, grenades – there are so many dangerous weapons out there. So, I am very worried.”

He, however, appreciated the “hard work of the officers of the Nigerians Customs” who he said basically work with their bare hands and generate huge sums of money for the Federal Government year after year with little reward equipment-wise.

“When I say they work with their bare hands, what I mean by that is, when you have a service like the Nigerian Customs Service; in 2015, they made over N900bn. When you take off the VAT (Value Added Tax) it comes down to about N800bn made for the Nigerian government. In 2016, they made N920bn, take off the VAT and that comes down to N720bn. These are huge sums of money the Nigerian Customs have made for the Nigerian government,” Onyekwelu said.

“So, it is very worrisome that the Nigerian government could not buy the Nigerian Customs Service a simple vehicle inspection scanner. I am so surprised that in this 21st Century, a service like the Nigerian Customs Service would be working without technology supporting what their intelligence teams are doing.”

For him, a port like Tin-Can Island shouldn’t operate with one scanner; it should have at least three.

“There should be a scanner for every container leaving the port; that is number one. There should be a scanner for all the containers that are going into the port. So, we are talking about entry and exit scanners,” he said.

“Then, inside the port, you should have a mobile scanner system for on-the-point check. If there is any suspicion, you should be able to use that scanner to check the content of a container. So, they cannot even afford one when they need three.”

As a result, the security consultant believes the NCS is ill-equipped for their role.

“Basically, what you have in the Nigerian Customs today is like farmers choosing not to buy tractors for their farming and they choose to employ a thousand people to use hoes and cutlasses to work when they can just bring in two tractors and the work is done.”

Turkey To Investigate Illegal Arms Import Into Nigeria

File photo of some of the 661 pump-action rifles seized by Customs in January

Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hakan Cakil, has promised to launch an investigation to fish out those behind the illegal importation of firearms from Turkey to Nigeria.

Mr Cakil made the promise during a meeting with the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd), amid growing concerns over the interception and seizure of pump-action rifles illegally shipped to Nigeria from Turkey.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerians Customs Service, Joseph Attah, said the Customs boss informed Mr Cakil that the agency and Nigerians were concerned about the discovery and seizure of 2,671 pump-action rifles brought into Nigeria from Turkey.

The rifles had been brought to Nigeria in four shipments this year.

According to Ali, the different seizures from one source, suggests the complicity of Turkish officials.

But the ambassador assured the Customs boss that his country would not in any way support any activity that poses a security threat to Nigeria.

He promised to get in touch with Turkish authorities with the findings of the NCS “with a view to fishing out criminals behind the illegal arms shipment to Nigeria”.

Also, a team of Nigerian Customs personnel will visit the Turkish Customs “to further discuss ways of nipping such arms export from Turkey”.

JTF Kills Five Militants In Rivers State

Army, Militants, JTF, RiversThe Nigerian Army says it is making progress in the Niger Delta as it reveals that the Joint Task Force has killed five militants in Rivers State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the military announced that it has begun mopping up of arms in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The militants were killed during an exchange of gun fire with the troops, and a cache of arms and ammunition recovered from them.

The troops intercepted the hoodlums after they had kidnapped an unidentified person before the gun battle ensued.

A statement by the Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, stated that the exercise would continue this weekend in the 82 Division and part of the Two Division of the Nigerian Army.

The army explained that the operations in the riverine environment was to check criminal activities such as kidnapping, militancy and piracy among others.

The Commander of “Operation Delta Safe”, Major General Joseph Irabor, had told journalists in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State that the military would not relent in its determination to rid the Niger Delta of illegal arms.

This latest killing of five militants and one kidnapper occurred in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital this weekend and is considered a major breakthrough by the Nigerian military.

However, there are reports that the Federal Government is ready to dialogue with the Niger Delta militants, to resolve the crisis in the region.

The Petroleum Minister, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said at the weekend that over $40 billion have been spent in the Niger Delta in the past 12 years without any significant results.

Kaduna Govt. Inaugurates Committee To Eliminate Illegal Arms

Illegal ArmsThe Kaduna State Government has set up an amnesty committee that will be saddled with the responsibility of mopping up illegal arms and light weapons from bandits across the state.

The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, Mrs Amina Sijuade, disclosed this to correspondents at the end of the weekly executive council meeting.

She noted that the illegal weapons in the hands of unauthorised users is a threat to the security of lives and property in the state.

Mrs Sijuade added that the exercise, which would last for a period of four months, is aimed at ensuring adequate protection of lives and property of the citizens.

She also explained that part of the amnesty programme would be the provision of jobs and other incentives to repentant criminals who return their arms.

Over the years, Kaduna State has witnessed several ethno-religious conflicts that claimed hundreds of lives and property worth billions of Naira.

The state government therefore, admonished persons in possession of prohibited firearms to immediately surrender them to the committee during the exercise.

Army Parades Suspect For Illegal Arms Possession, Impersonation   

Army The Nigerian Army has paraded a suspect, one Prince Onyemauche from Imo State, for illegal possession of arms and rounds of ammunition, and impersonation of an official of the Army.

Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said that the suspect was arrested on Sunday at a motor park in Gwagwalada area council of the FCT alongside an Army Sergeant.

He had in his possession, an AK47 riffle and four magazines of ammunition, a pistol, 6 GSM handsets, 12 cheque books and one million Naira in cash, among other things.

He said that three identified soldiers, who often travel with the suspect as escorts without official authorization, have been picked up and are awaiting trial by a court martial.

APC Registration: PDP Alleges Foul Methods To Cause Violence

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, said that it has uncovered a plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to set the stage to reject the results of the 2015 general elections.

Speaking at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisah Metuh, alleged that the APC is using its ongoing party registration as a means to hype and give a false impression of massive public followership.

“We wish to alert Nigerians therefore, to the evidence at our disposal to the effect that APC is sadly and currently using every foul means at its disposal to build a particular membership figure running into tens of millions which it intends to use as a justification to fault, dispute, reject and subsequently take to violence when it loses in 2015.

“It is our strong belief that the APC wishes to announce a figure of 28-29 million registered voters in Nigeria. Subsequently, after the elections when maybe they do not have half of it or 14 or 12 million voters as usual, they will declare the election rigged, illegal.”

He further alleged that “the APC officials and members have been going round the wards and polling units, using INEC polling locations and materials and in most cases lying to people that the exercise is being embarked on by INEC or by the Federal Government.

“Unsuspecting Nigerians who think that it is census or INEC or any Federal Government registered exercise are currently being hoodwinked into registering as members of the APC.

“We reliably gathered also that in states controlled by the APC, especially in the South-West, pupils and students in schools are lured or persuaded to get the passport photographs of their parents and guardians and fill in forms of their names, which are thereafter secretly affixed to the APC membership forms without the knowledge of the innocent students or their unsuspecting parents.”

The party also wondered why the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not taken any action against the APC on the matter.

APC Reacts

In the meantime, the APC is not taking the PDP’s allegations lying low.

The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, said “if planning to win an election is a crime, then we will play guilty, but we plan to win and we shall win by the grace of God.”

Speaking with Channels Television, Mr Mohammed said “It was exactly a year ago, February 5, the first meeting of the merger took place, this is the same way they mocked us and said it would never work.

“Everybody was in the glare of all our discussions, through our debates, all our steps.  It took almost 6 months for the merger to be approved. We set the building blocks of this party almost immediately and we’ve been fortunate that the implosion in the PDP again helped the party to become a phenomenon.

“Today what we are witnessing is a movement,” he said.

2015 Elections: Police IG Reveals Plans To Ensure Security

The latest redeployment in the Nigerian Police is a step to reposition the service for a smooth electoral process come 2015.

These were the words of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on Friday in Lagos at the pull-out parade of five senior medical officers.

Mr Abubakar pledged the readiness of the Police to ensure the safety of Nigerians.

“You will see a lot of things, first of all, we are doing training and retraining programme. As I’m talking to you we have a very large number of officers of units of Mobile Policemen in Gaza, Pakistan, Israel and in India for training.

“We have intelligence courses being run in the country and outside the country with the FBI on the assistance of the United States Government and the Embassy of America in Nigeria.

“So, so many things will unfold, since it is something to do with safety and security, it is better left on the chest but you will see them unfolding one after the other.” He said.

Speaking on the redeployment, he said, “You can see that we tried to reposition the force with the posting of 25 Commissioners of Police, 25 Deputy Commissioners of Police and probably about 29 Assistant Commissioners of Police all over the country, and this is just the beginning of it.”

 

 

 

Legal Practitioner Faults INEC’s Lovers’ Day Presidential Election

A senior lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, Nelson Ogbuanya has faulted the decision of the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, to schedule the 2015 Presidential Election for the 14th of February which is popularly known as Valentine’s Day.

Speaking on Sunrise, the legal practitioner said elections for the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly should hold first, followed by the governorship elections and finally, the presidential election.

Mr Ogbuanya said fixing elections for a day when people generally want to celebrate love may be opposed by some persons based on their social rights. He also stated that the arrangement is not the best in terms of structure.

“If you want to cure rigging, you must look at the structural aspect,” he said.

Ogbuanya who predicted issues in the arrangement averred that it will overheat the polity. He further explained his position by saying that the governors are very powerful as they influence elections at the grass root levels which goes a long way to determine who emerges president.

He added that elections into the National Assembly and State Houses should be first as they are representatives of the people. Such arrangement, he explained, would be devoid of external influence because the new governor is yet to be determined.

This will also ensure that senators and representatives are elected based on their popularity.

“We don’t want the governors to determine who becomes elected into the Assembly,” he said.

Speaking about the timetable of the election, Ogbuanya said the success of the time table would be determined by INEC’s ability to follow it religiously. “I think the time table is feasible to the extent that it is religiously followed.”

Although he was of the opinion that “INEC ought to have brought the calendar earlier than now” as early release would ensure speedy corrections if need be.

He further called on the electoral umpire to be careful in dealing with pre-election matters because if that aspect is poorly done; it would affect post-election matters, which would cause set-backs.

Commenting on arguments that election disputes be sorted before candidates are sworn into office, Ogbuanya said speedy justice doesn’t guarantee quality. He posited that if election tribunals are rushed, it draws focus to the time and not the quality of the judgment. “It affects true justice,” he added.

On why there are usually several litigations after elections, Ogbuanya said politicians lack the spirit of sportsmanship.

“Nigerians are bad losers,” he said, attributing the struggle for position to selfish interests. He however said that “If you are popular and you are rigged out, you have a case.”

While speaking about violence and intimidation which results in rigging, the legal practitioner called on the government to pay close attention to the smuggling of illegal arms. “Intimidation is a major element of rigging,” he said.

He stressed that the government must curtail the trend of illegal arms as this would discourage voters from participating in the elections out of fear for their lives.

He highlighted a few issues INEC would have to deal with concerning the voters’ register. He said that the problem with the voters’ register is database as there is no way to cross check the status of the electorate. Also those who have newly attained the age of 18 would not be able to vote.

80% Of Nigerian Security Operatives Are Compromised

The Director General, National Task force on Illegal Importation of Light Weapons and Small Arms, Osita Okereke, has alleged that the federal government, Nigerian Police Force and other security operatives are not supporting the task force in addressing the proliferation of arms in the country because “they are all compromised.”

“Our problem with us in this country is that our security operatives are compromised, security operatives in Nigeria have to be fair with Nigerians. 80 percent of security operatives in Nigeria are compromised because all these hoodlums are their friends” he affirmed.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, about the perceived non-performance of his task force, Mr. Okereke vowed to resign in six months if the requisite support is given to his task force and a proportional change is not witnessed.

A displeased Okereke stated his task force-which he described as an ’empty force’ – has a lot of information as to where and how these illegal arms can be recovered but the police has denied them any support

He said he has consistently approached the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to provide him and his task force with police officers to help in discovering these arms but to no avail.

“You cannot arrest someone with arms without arms” he lamented.

Novice Committee

Mr Okerekere described the recent committee on the proliferation of arms by the federal government as a ‘novice committee’ because “it is a committee that knows nothing about arms and the importation of arms.”

He condemned the constitution of such a committee without the inclusion of his organisation, National Taskforce on Illegal Importation of Light Weapons and Small Arms.

Illegal Arms Deal: Court Grants Bail To Russian Seamen

A Lagos High Court on Monday granted bail to 15 Russian seamen detained since October over alleged illegal possession of arms and set the trial for April 10.

The presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke said the crew of the MV Myre Seadiver should be released following a written commitment by the Russian ambassador to Nigeria to produce the suspects on demand.

The court also ordered that the vessel be released after the payment of a bond in the sum of $500,000.

The lawyer to the accused persons, Chidi Okafor said his clients were innocent and the ship was contracted to provide security to vessels off the region, which sees repeated pirate attacks.

He said permission was also sought and secured before the vessel entered Nigeria’s territorial waters.

“Contrary to misinformation, the Russians did not enter Nigeria illegally and did not import any arms,” Mr Okafor said.

“The ship in question is a security vessel providing security to merchant vessels in the high seas because of the rising cases of piracy and kidnapping,” he added.

The MV Myre Seadiver was seized on October 19 off the coast of Lagos by a naval patrol which also detained its 15 crew members.

Weapons found on the vessel included 14 AK-47 rifles with 3,643 rounds of ammunition as well as 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with 4,955 rounds of ammunition.