Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has requested the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to disclose the steps taken by security agencies to implement the directive of the federal government on arms proliferation in Akwa Ibom State.
Falana, who said he was making the request pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, added it became necessary in view of the ongoing preparations for the 2015 general election coupled with the increasing wave of violence in the country. In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, the human rights lawyer said: “Following the political violence which engulfed some states of the federation after the announcements of the results of the presidential election conducted in April 2011 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the federal government set up a panel of inquiry headed by Sheik Ahmed Lemu to investigate the civil disturbances and violence.
“The panel carried out a thorough investigation. Most of the recommendations made by the panel were accepted by the federal government. Accordingly, a white paper was issued in August, 2012.
On sources of weapons used in the political unrest which occurred in Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe and Akwa Ibom States, the panel found that pistols and locally manufactured rifles, axes, daggers and cutlasses were freely used in the northern states while the sophisticated weapons employed in the violence in Akwa Ibom State included “pistols, pump action guns, machine guns, RPGs, grenades, SMGs, AK 47s.”
“The panel therefore recommended that ‘Government should conduct an in-depth investigation into the allegations of large scale arms-running in Akwa Ibom State to stem the tide of illegal arms flow into the country and ensure proper monitoring and licensing of local manufacturers of firearms and dealers.-
“Disturbed by the above finding the federal government accepted the recommendation of the panel and directed the security agencies to implement it without any delay. The directive was given to the security agencies in August 2012 when the white paper on the political violence was published.
“In view of the ongoing preparations for the 2015 general elections coupled with the increasing wave of violence in the country I am compelled to request for information on the steps taken so far by the security agencies to implement the directive of the federal government on arms proliferation in Akwa Ibom State.”