Despite the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly’s stance on arming vigilance groups in Zamfara State, the governor seemed have defied the lawmakers as arms have been allegedly imported into the state Governor Abdul’Aziz Abubakar for vigilance groups in the state.
Police have now begun a probe into the source of arms purportedly procured for the groups by the governor. The force, it was gathered, had directed its detectives to investigate the sourcing and importation of the arms and ammunition into the country without the knowledge of the approving authorities.
Speaking to Punch in Abuja on condition of anonymity, a senior police officer on Wednesday said police began an investigation into the arms procurement process considering its security implications for the country as it approaches the 2015 general elections.
According to the source, the police were surprised that the state government brought in the arms even when importation permit is no longer granted to local armouries and arms dealers in the country.
“The governor had lobbied the IG to give him a permit for the guns but he refused because he knows that the weapons may be used during the 2015 elections by thugs and other miscreants.
“If the IG had been corrupt, he could have made so much money from the governor, but he refused to yield to every form of persuasion from the governor,” he said.
Reports say the governor had purchased arms in 2012 and then applied to the IG for permit, but his request was turned down and the weapons confiscated by the police.
The police was however silent on the matter until last week when Senator Shabba Lafiagi raised the issue during a plenary in the Senate last week.
However, following the interest the debate generated, the police last Sunday, in a statement, restated that the embargo on firearms licensing was still in force, adding that the extant laws guiding the use of arms prohibited the bearing of all manner of firearms, without requisite permits.
Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, has confirmed that investigation into the arms deal had commenced, but he declined to say whether Zamfara State officials had been interrogated over the matter, nor did he comment on the level of investigation.