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Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Controversy over missing N19.7bn police equipment fund

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  • As IGP, police ministry deny receipt of funds

By Umar Muhammad Puma

There was a mild drama yesterday at a hearing of the the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts probing the alleged missing N19.7 billion Police

Equipment Fund, when Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, denied receiving the money allegedly paid to the police by the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for purchase of helicopters for the police, among others.

The IGP who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Air Wing, Ilesanmi Aguda, told the House committee to direct the queries on the whereabouts of the fund to the Ministry of Police Affairs, saying that he had “no knowledge” of the alleged payment from the CBN.

Chairman of the committee, Solomon Olamilekan (APC Lagos), had disclosed at the meeting that the police ministry had also denied receipt of the fund from the CBN.

“If the IGP and the police ministry deny receipt of the said N19.7 billion, then the committee can rightly assume that the money is missing, until proven otherwise. All the major actors involved in the alleged transaction including the CBN have a case to answer,” Olamilekan said.

The committee thereafter resolved to summon on Tuesday, the CBN governor, IGP and the police affairs minister to appear before it to explain the whereabouts of the “missing” Police Equipment Fund.

It will be recalled that Sanusi had in a written response to government’s allegation of financial recklessness against him, stated that the police project, which also involved buying other security equipment, cost N19.7 billion, and that it was carried out “upon the instruction” of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Consistent with our policy of development, upon the instruction of His Excellency, the President, the CBN intervened by paying N19.7 billion to the Ministry of Police Affairs for the purchase of armoured helicopters and other security equipment,” Sanusi said.

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