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Reps want FG to review purchase of arms, others by security agencies in last 10 years


The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to review the policies, protocols, and procedures for the purchase of arms, ammunition, and related hardware by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air Force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDCD), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last ten years.

It also urged the Federal Government to review the guidelines and systems for training officers of the Nigeria Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Correctional Services(NCS) in the last ten years.

The House further asked the Federal Government to appraise the armoury and weapons control mechanisms currently being implemented by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air Force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDCD), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last ten years.

It resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the quality and quantity of arms purchased by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDCD), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last ten years and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

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The House took these decisions on Tuesday a plenary upon the adoption of a motion on: “Need to Review the Purchase, Use and Control of Arms, Ammunition, and Related Hardware by Military, Paramilitary, and Other Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria”, sponsored by two members; Ibrahim Aliyu and Olaide Akinremi.

Aliyu noted that there has been an increase in the deployment of officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDCD), the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) to perform internal security functions, often at variance with their core competence, training, and mandate.

He also noted that with the increase in the number of armed deployments in response to the multifaceted internal security challenges across the country, there has also been a significant increase in the demand for arms, ammunition, and related hardware by the various paramilitary forces in the country.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that with the rise in deployment of armed paramilitary officers across the country, there has been a commensurate upsurge in incidents of interactions between armed personnel and citizens, resulting in injury, deaths, and several allegations of diverse misconduct and abuse.

He was: “Also concerned that there are no standard guidelines across the various paramilitary agencies for the training of officers in proper gun use, management and safety, with the effect that too many of the armed officers interacting with citizens do not have the right training, thus endangering the people they are meant to protect.

“Further concerned that the absence of structured training standards has created an environment where clashes between security personnel and the civilian populace will continue to occur, with the attendant consequences, and a complete loss of confidence by citizens in the ability of the government to protect the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.

“Worried that the Federal Government has continued to appropriate huge amounts of money to meet the increasing demands for arms, which does not necessarily meet the peculiar security demands of Nigeria and the specific mandates of the different agencies.

“Also worried that there are no proper protocols in place to ensure that the arms, ammunition, and related hardware that are being purchased are properly documented, as the procedures for armory management and control across the security agencies are still based on outdated practices.

“Alarmed that the absence of effective armory control feeds into a culture of recklessness regarding the use of weapons and raises the disturbing possibility that arms and ammunition purchased by the State will end up in the hands of criminals who will use them to commit acts of violence against citizens”.



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