A former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, has described allegations of arms stockpiling levelled against him by an online medium, Premium Times, as laughable.
Amosun said incumbent Governor Dapo Abiodun was the main supplier of some of the Armoured Personnel Carriers he bought in 2012 to combat security challenges his administration inherited.
The former governor stated this in a statement issued by his media aide, Rotimi Durojaiye, on Tuesday night in Abeokuta.
Amosun said Premium Times’ report on the arms stockpiling was as “an attempt to stand logic in its head.”
The ex-governor explained that he handed over the arms to the police on May 28 in order to make a proper account of assets before he left office.
The statement read, “The suggestion that the security assets were quickly handed over to the police in order that the new administration would not know about it was laughable because the current Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR, was the main supplier of some of the assets in question, notably, the Armoured Personnel Carriers.
“…As a governor, who understood and took the responsibilities of his office seriously, Senator Amosun was mindful to account for and properly hand over the remainder of the security items to the police and the new administration.
“On May 28, 2019, the last of the APCs, and all other security assets in the custody of the Ogun State Government were passed over to the police in full glare of the media and general public.
“We believed that was the surest way to prevent these assets from getting into the wrong hands.
“We assure our well-wishers, stakeholders and residents of Ogun State that we did was in their interest as the chief security officer of the state.
“All contrary insinuations, twisting of facts and deliberate misinformation should be discarded. We encourage Premium Times and all genuine inquirers to approach the police, regulatory and enforcement agencies for any other details they may want.”
Amosun, however, said he did not hand over any AK 47 rifle to the police as being insinuated in some quarters, adding that it was not the first time he would be handing over security gadgets to the police and other security agencies in the state.
He noted that his patriotic disposition had been savagely twisted in a “premeditated effort to stand logic on its head.”
The ex-governor said that he decided to invest in arms for the police because the biggest challenge that was confronting the state when he took over in 2011 was insecurity.
He added that he sought help from the then President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government and also got approval to set up “OP MESA” for Ogun State.
“We followed this up with the specialised QRS unit. We committed substantial funds into procurement of hard and software, and, myriad security assets to decisively combat our security challenges.
“We got all necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser to procure the 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers, the 1,000 units of AK 47 rifles, two million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 units of bullet-proof vests and 500 bullet-proof helmets and other security communication gadgets.
“The Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) issued the state the end user certificate with serial number 000001123 and dated March 5, 2012.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance also granted import duty exemption certificate through a letter from the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy with Reference Number BO/R.10260/S.4/T.4/22 dated April 10, 2012.”
But the Chief Press Secretary to Abiodun, Mr Kunle Somorin, in a statement said Amosun’s reaction was a grand plot to smear the governor’s name.
Somorin asked, “Did he (Abiodun) default in supplying according to the terms of the contract?
“What’s the motivation for bringing the governor’s name into the arms scandal? I consider it distracting or part of the grand plot to smear his excellency Dapo Abiodun.
“He claimed he handed over arms to the police not Governor Abiodun. The police CP should give the details and sort the shortfalls out with him. It’s a security matter. The agencies on arms purchase should wade in and connect the dots.”