All you need to know about the 1000 AK47 rifles, 4million bullets and armoured tank Amosun allegedly acquired before 2019 elections.
Immediate past Governor of Ogun State and serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ibikunle Amosun, is back in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Here is what you should know about what the nation is currently saying about Amosun:
- Premium Times alleges that shortly before the 2019 general elections, Amosun purchased truckloads of arms and ammunition and hid his cache of weapons under the radar of the security authorities.
- For context, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade of the APM was Amosun’s candidate ahead of the 2019 governorship election in the Southwest state.
- Amosun who had seen out his constitutionally permissible two terms of eight years as governor of Ogun, was diametrically opposed to his party’s choice of governorship candidate in the election.
- The APC’s choice was Dapo Abiodun who would go on to win the governorship election in the state. Amosun anointed Akinlade to succeed him. That didn't quite work out as planned.
- President Buhari was almost stoned when he visited Ogun during the electioneering campaigns. Buhari endorsed Abiodun instead of Akinlade on the stump. Ogun was a cauldron of unrest and violence during the elections, owing to the internal wars within the APC in the state.
- Meanwhile, Amosun contested and won the senatorial election to represent the people of Ogun central in the upper legislative chamber.
- Premium Times reports that a couple of hours before his era as Ogun governor elapsed, Amosun contacted the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama and confessed that he had thousands of arms and millions of ammunition in store at a secret armoury in Government House, and that he had decided to hand them over to the police.
- CP Makama then dashed to Government House with some of his subordinates. On arrival, truckloads of arms and ammunition were brought out of a nondescript amoury inside the Ogun State Government House, the story reads.
- A short handover ceremony was conducted with Amosun reportedly surrendering at least four million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 units of AK47 assault rifles, 1,000 units of bulletproof vests and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to the police.
- Amosun reportedly told the police at the event that he procured the arms and ammunition to check the widespread insecurity in his state of 3,751,140 inhabitants. He said he decided to keep the cache of weapons at the Government House armoury to ensure they were not allocated indiscriminately by security agencies.
- Afterwards, the arms and ammunition were driven to the police command headquarters in the Elewe-Eran area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
- Nigerian security operatives are said to be alarmed that a civilian governor would create an armoury and store thousands of arms there. Premium Times reports that the agents are also wondering why Amosun has not been arrested and prosecuted for violating sections of the Nigeria Firearms Act.
- The Nigeria Firearms Act forbids individuals and civilian institutions from illegally operating armouries or possessing prohibited firearms, including artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosive or gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine-guns and machine-pistols, military rifles (namely those of calibres 7.62 mm, 9 mm, .300 inches and .303 inches), revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
- No one still knows how Amosun was able to get the weapons into his state as a civilian governor. The story states that security authorities are wondering how Amosun imported the weapons, and how he transported them to Government House and stored them for prolonged periods without detection.
- It has also been reported that Amosun procured the weapons without End-User certificates from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). End-User certificates are absolutely required to import controlled products into Nigeria.
- End-User Certificate requests for arms and ammunition must be made by approved security agencies on behalf of themselves or their qualified vendors. Neither Mr Amosun nor his state is an approved security agency or qualified security equipment vendor.
- “When Tunde Fashola bought weapons for the police during his tenure as governor in Lagos, he obtained an End-User certificate, and the weapons were delivered to the police and not to his official residence,” one unnamed security official was reported as saying by Premium Times.
- Senator Ibikunle Amosun is yet to grant Premium Times his own side of the story. Repeated requests for comments from the magazine to the senator and his aides have yielded silence. The police has also evaded requests for comments from Premium Times.
- Top national security officials believe that the quantity of weapons Amosun hid was large enough to destabilise a country. “You can overrun a country with that quantity,” one unnamed security official told Premium Times.
- Amosun no longer has immunity from prosecution after his tenure as governor elapsed on May 29, 2019. Senators are prosecuted while in office under Nigerian law.