The House of Representatives on Wednesday invited Hammed Ali, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Mamman Daura, Director General, Directorate of Security Service (DSS), over the influx of small arms and light weapons into the country.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored Obinna Chidoka (PDP-Anambra), who The House investigate came on the heel of concerns raised by the NCS Comptroller General during a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, over 2,671 Pump Action Rifles imported from Turkey into Nigeria which appears to suggest complicity of Turkish government.
In his lead debate, Chidoka who doubles as chairman, House Committee on Environment lamented that the recent firm arms seizure, which is the second in the month of September and fourth in 2017, would appear to suggest that the syndicate behind the influx of fire arms into the country had stepped up their nefarious trade, with far reaching consequences for the country, as fire arms and light weapons are the lifeblood of organised crimes and criminality.
“The recent influx of firearms into the country has confirmed the recent report of the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, which identified Nigeria as a destination of choice for smugglers of small arms and light weapons.
” Nigeria Customs Service might not be adequately equipped and/or motivated to handle the influx of small arms and light weapons into the country, due to absence of functional scanners at the port to enable the agency to effectively scrutinise containers in line with global best practices,” he noted.
On her part, Nkiruka Onyejeocha (PDP-Abia) argued that there seems to be a disconnect somewhere for the arms to be seized yet security agencies complain of fire arms shortage to carry out their functions.
In the bid to checkmate the importation of firearms into the country, the lawmakers urged relevant authorities to speed up investigations on the many firearms seizures and commence prosecution of anyone found culpable.
They also tasked NCS, DSS and other relevant regulatory agencies to intensify checks at various ports and borders with the view to control influx of arms.
To this end, the House resolved to invite the NCS Comptroller General and DSS Director General to brief the House on the comprehensive plan to rid the country of the menace of small arms and light weapons.