Amosun speaks on arms scandal, says Jonathan approved importation of weapons

Jonathan faults Gov Wike for setting up 'militia' group in Rivers

Former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has denied allegations he stockpiled firearms before the general elections and hurriedly handed them over to the police a day to handover.

Although he admitted handing over some armoured vehicles and light weapons to the Ogun State Police, Amosun however clarified that he imported the security hardware with the approval of the Presidency, under Goodluck Jonathan in 2012.

There had been a report by Premium Times claiming that Amosun surrendered about four million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 units of AK47 assault rifles, 1,000 units of bulletproof vests and an armoured personnel carrier which were illegally acquired.

However, Amosun’s media aide Rotimi Durojaiye in a statement released on Wednesday, insisted that no AK47 rifle was handed over to the police on May 28, the day the former Governor was disarmed as part of handing over formalities.

READ ALSO: AMOSUN’s ARMS SCANDAL: Police, DSS, Customs guilty of ‘collusion’- NDF

“It is rather interesting and ironic that a routine, bona fide and patriotic disposition of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been so savagely twisted in a premeditated effort to stand logic on its head. It is important to clarify that NOT A SINGLE AK47 RIFLE was handed over at the event.

“Senator Ibikunle Amosun would have loved to ignore this report for the simple reason that it is a matter for the remit of the Police and Security agencies. But, that course of action will appear disrespectful to well-meaning stakeholders and inquirers on the matter. Secondly, the good people of Ogun State and Nigerians at large deserve to know the exact circumstances of the handing-over of these security items.

“It is important to stress that this was not the first time that Senator Amosun, whilst in office as Governor and former Chief Security of Ogun State would be handing over security assets to the police.

“The particular exercise of 28 May, 2019 was done openly in the full glare of the public and the media to ensure accountability, guarantee transparency and judicious use of the assets,” he said.

Explaining how the state government acquired the weapons and had an armoury, he said all necessary approvals were gotten, due process followed, adding that a security parley was first convened which birthed the Ogun State Security Trust Fund (STF) under the leadership of a former Nigerian National Security Adviser.

“The Amosun administration sought help from 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 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 (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.

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