Ibrahim Kpotun Idris

The office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAgF) has requested the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to produce Police Investigation Reports with respect to 56 police rifles which got missing from different divisions in Anambra State between 2016 and 2017; investigation by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown.

This, according to our findings, followed an audit inspection conducted by the OAgF within the period under review which also revealed that the rifles went missing along with 2048 rounds of ammunition.

A total of 55 police rifles with 2048 rounds of ammunition got missing at different police divisions in Anambra State as at the time of the audit inspection. The report, however, said “neither a Police Investigation Report nor completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146” was forwarded to the OAgF’s office to inform it about the missing weapons, contrary to the provision of Financial Regulations 2604 and 2606.

“The Inspector-General of Police has been requested to produce the Police Investigation Reports and completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146 for audit verification. His response is still being awaited,” the OAgF said in his current Annual Report which was transmitted to the National Assembly on May 30, 2018.

“Neither a Police Investigation Report nor completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146 has been forwarded to my office to inform me about the missing arms and ammunition, contrary to the provision of Financial Regulations 2604 and 2606,” the OAgF added.

Also missing, according to the 2016 Auditor General’s Report, a copy of which Daily Trust on Sunday exclusively obtained, is one AK47 rifle with breech No. 04341 with 10 rounds of live 7.62x39mm ammunition lost by a police officer on July 10, 2016 through signal no CB:2310/IMS/W1/VOL.1/121, DTO: 250900/07/2016.

Although the officer alleged that he was attacked by hoodlums at the police station, Iho in Imo State, on July 10, 2016, there was neither a Police Investigation Report nor a completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146 presented for audit inspection, in compliance with the provisions of Financial Regulations 2504 and 2505, the report stated.

It was based on this that the Inspector-General of Police was requested to produce the Police Investigation Reports and completed Part II and III of the Treasury Form 146 for audit verification, even as his response was still being awaited, the audit report indicated.

It was not clear at the time of filing this report if the police IG had subsequently complied with the OAgF’s request and furnished the office with the documents.

The Force Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, did not pick phone calls or a text message seeking to know if the IGP had responded to the Auditor General’s request asking him to produce Police Investigation Reports on the missing rifles and ammunition for audit verification.

The report also frowned at the absence of reported cases of losses of cash and items arising from theft, fraud, negligence, death of government debtors, inadequate security and non-observance of existing regulations by government agencies between 2011 and 2015.

“The NIL position of reported cases over the last 5 years is a clear indication of the outright disregard of the provisions of chapters 25 and 26 of the Financial Regulations which enjoin all Accounting officers to render reports of any loss of cash, stores, plants, vehicles and equipment to my office, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and to the Federal Civil Service Commission.  Losses of cash, stores, etc., were not officially reported by the MDAs to my Office during that period.

“No accident case involving any government vehicle was also reported during the year under review.  This is not to say that it was NIL situations with all the federal ministries if the Quarterly Returns on Government vehicles had been promptly rendered. This situation is quite worrisome”, the report said.

Missing vehicles

Among unreported loses incurred by MDA’s, according to the report, is a Toyota Camry 2010 model with registration number FG 02 43F, belonging to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe.

The vehicle valued at N7, 974,750.00 and attached to the Chief Medical Director, was said to have been snatched by armed robbers on August 27, 2015 around 7.45pm, between Shitu Aloa Barracks and Keffi Town.

However, correspondences between the hospital and the insurers were said to have revealed that the vehicle was under a Third Party cover and therefore not qualified for replacement as against Comprehensive Insurance cover for such a valuable asset, thereby exposing the vehicle to higher risk and total loss in case of eventuality.

Although the Chief Medical Director was requested to explain this act of negligence and report the loss formally on Treasury Form 146, as required by the Financial Regulations “He did not comment on this matter in his response to my audit observation dated June 13, 2017.  Consequently, he should justify why he should not be held liable and appropriately sanctioned for negligence,” the OAgF stated in his 2016 audit report.

At the Ministry of Information and Culture, three vehicles (Toyota Land Cruiser and 2 (two) Toyota Hillux pick up vans) were said to be missing as at July, 2017. Audit investigation was said to have revealed that the vehicles were in the custody of a former minister of the ministry and a female staff in Sure-P Office.

Following unsuccessful efforts to recover the missing vehicles which were also were said to have been boarded without compliance to extant regulations, the   Permanent Secretary was requested to recover the missing vehicles from the affected officers and forward recovery particulars for audit verification.

The Permanent Secretary was also asked to produce the individual vehicle files of 8 vehicles claimed to be boarded to the OAgF for verification

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that at the time of the current audit report, these requests were not complied with.

At the Federal Ministry of Interior a Toyota Avensis with registration number FG 522-A14 was allegedly stolen but the loss was said to be unreported and no Police Report was presented for audit examination, contrary to Financial Regulation 2606(ii) (a-h).

It was gathered that due to the poor state of vehicle records at the ministry, the engine and chassis number, date of purchase and cost of the vehicle could not be ascertained

“Although the Permanent Secretary was requested to formally report the loss in accordance with Financial Regulations and forward evidence of action taken for audit verification he did not comply, despite my reminder letter with Ref No. OAuGF/D&SAD/GC/VOL.IV/121A dated 9th March, 2017.  He should justify his inaction and why he should not be held liable for the loss,” the report said.

Similarly a Toyota Hilux 4/WD D/C with Registration Number FG22L45, Engine Number 2TR7556422 and Chassis Number AHTFX22GX0802152 which was purchased in September 2013, at the cost of N12, 716,667.60 (Twelve million, seven hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred and sixty-seven naira, sixty kobo) and allocated to one of the directors at the National Library of Nigeria was said to have been snatched at gun point along Kano-Kaduna road.

However, the management could not provide evidence of any follow-up action on the missing vehicle: the driver of the vehicle had not made any official report about the missing vehicle; there was no police report nor evidence of any action taken by the management to uncover the full circumstances of the robbery. The driver was not queried to account for the vehicle under his custody and the loss has not been reported formally on Treasury Form 146, as required by the Financial Regulations.

Consequently, the driver and the management staff who served during the period of the incident should account for the vehicle or be surcharged accordingly.

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