- Drama as documents suggest IPO refunded money in death
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday ordered the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to provide within seven days, evidence to counter allegations of missing ammunition since 2010 or face the full wrath of the law.
The committee, chaired by Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) is probing the missing of four rifles including cash exhibits, coupled with 55 queries raised against the Nigeria Police Force during the review period, based on the report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF) between 2010 and 2013.
During the investigative hearing, attended by the Director of Finance of the Police, Mr. Aliyu Oba and Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) J.O.Egbunike, a mild drama played out when the police submissions indicated a late police officer recently refunded money exhibit totalling about N1.9 million as earlier directed by the committee.
Committee members had queried how a dead police officer, (names withheld) refunded exhibit money of N1.9million only last November- when his death preceded events.
In response, Oba, who was obviously frustrated by seeming lack of coherence in the force’s presentation said “I thought the bottom line is that the money was returned. I want to plead for understanding so that I can withdraw the first set of forms and do a tidier job in the next hearing.”
He said the police had substantially complied with the directive of the committee by furnishing the secretariat with relevant documents.
But Chinda insisted most of the information by the police were not in order and advised the latter to liaise with the secretariat and make relevant corrections.
He said: “For instance, you claimed that the IPO in charge had refunded the exhibit cash that AuGF demanded for and he also responded to the forms we asked you to fill.
“One Mr. Nasir Musa who replaced the late IPO- could he have gotten the money from the late IPO as you reflected in your report?”
The committee had rhetorically asked if the new IPO had visited the grave yard of the dead IPO to collect the money.
Meanwhile, the rather damming AuGF report had alleged that during the audit examination of arms and ammunition in 2012, it was observed that four different brands of pistol were missing.
It further alleged that cash exhibits of N928,000 in 2011; N100,000 in 2012 and N720,000 in 2013 as well as a laptop worth N250,000 were no where to be found.
The police will also be defending issues bothering on finance utilisation at its next hearing on a fortnight.