16 March 2018

Nigeria: Reps Probe Alleged Kogi Government's Importation of Firearms

Abuja and Lokoja — The House of Representatives yesterday began probe of Kogi State government's importation of firearms.

It mandated its committees on Customs, National Intelligence and Public Safety to investigate the matter.

The House also summoned top officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to explain their roles in the illegal act.

It expressed concern that the importer was not arrested, but asked to procure end-user certificate from the National Security Adviser (NSA).

This probe followed a motion of urgent national importance raised by Karimi Sunday.

He said the NCS knew that the importer was not constitutionally empowered to procure arms, and would not under normal circumstances, had been able to get the said end-user certificate.

Sunday disclosed that the government imported 100 pieces of military camouflage, 26 pieces of military jungle boots, 20 pieces of plastic knives and 24 pieces of black bulletproof vests.

Others are 28 block boxing gloves, 26 pieces of arctic hunter bags, 40 pieces of training mats, 20 pieces of black batons and 100 pieces of black T-shirts.

Also on the list are 31 pieces of protective glasses, 25 pieces of black sunglasses and 29 pieces of black uniform belts.

According to him, the Special Adviser to the governor on security, Jerry Omodara, had told the customs that the items belong to the Kogi State government.

He warned that the security of lives could be endangered if politicians are allowed to import arms under the guise of equipping the military.

Also, the House yesterday enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.

This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ahmed Yerima and 23 other lawmakers.

In the session presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House said the call is to determine whether concessioning the steel complex would be in the best interest of the national economy and the anti-graft campaign in the country.

The House also mandated the ad hoc committee on Ajaokuta Steel to inquire into why the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, engaged a globally discredited firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in auditing the steel firm.

It further mandated it to ascertain the conflict of interest that may have arisen in appointing another firm, Greenwhich Trust Ltd.

It alleged that the wife of his political mentor heads Greenwhich, which he appointed to serve as Transaction Adviser for the steel firm without due process.

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