Soldiers intercept heavy military equipment in Adamawa

Nigerian soldiers manning a checkpoint in Adamawa State have intercepted six mine resistance vehicles that seemed to have been transported into Nigeria without due process.

The military personnel, attached to Nigerian Army 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, seized the equipment in Fufore Local Government Area this week.

Nigerian Army could not immediately verify the ownership of the equipment, where they were being shipped from and their destination, it was learnt from military sources.

Although Nigerian Army headquarters has directed an urgent investigation into the discovery, the equipment have been handed over to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the interim.

On Saturday, commander of 23 Armoured Brigade, Mr S.G. Mohammed, handed over the vehicles to comptroller of Customs in charge of Adamawa and Taraba, Mr Olumoh Kamaldeen, at a ceremony in Konkol, Fufore LGA.

It is not immediately clear whether suspects have been arrested. It is illegal to import such equipment without an end-user certificates from Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), which is the only federal agency with powers to issue such document.

The development could further upset security agencies, who have continued to grapple with acute insecurity and violence across the country.

Security analysts regularly question how terrorists and other criminals acquire weapons they have used to keep the country under siege for many years, urging security and intelligence agencies to devote more time to understanding the complex web of illicit arms movement.

The latest seizure of six mine-resistance all terrain vehicles (MATV) came three months after a Nigerian politician, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, handed over weapons he had illegally stockpiled for several years to the police.

Amosun kept the weapons for several years at Government House, Abeokuta, until his last day in office when he realised he would no longer enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution.

The police have failed to arrest the former governor, now a serving senator, despite widespread uproar and concerns amongst Nigerians that prosecuting Amosun could serve as deterrence to other politicians involved in proliferation of deadly arms across the country.

 

PT

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