A Damage Assessment committee set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says at least 100 AK-47 rifles and 2,600 pieces of ammunition are missing as a result of attacks on police formations in Lagos State.
The attacks were perpetrated by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in October.
In an interview with PUNCH on Saturday, Chairman of the 10-man committee, CP Yaro Abutu, also disclosed that 37 police formations were attacked during the widespread violence in the state while 367 vehicles, including 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers, saloon cars and Hilux vans were burnt.
He said the team was taking the inventory of property destroyed in police facilities across the country.
Abutu lamented that it was unfortunate the destruction happened towards the end of the year “when there is a surge in criminality all over the country.”
“We are taking a tour around the 17 states where burning of police facilities and killing of police personnel occurred. Since Lagos is the epicentre we decided to come to Lagos first. Thirty seven police stations were attacked in Lagos and about 30 per cent of the police infrastructure in the state has been crippled,” he said.
“Also, a lot of arms and ammunition were carted away. We are still counting and collating. In some police stations, 15 to 30 firearms and a number of ammunition were stolen.
“So far from our preliminary report, about 100 pieces of AK-47 cannot be accounted for and up to 2,600 pieces of ammunition are missing. This is when criminals become more aggressive whereas police equipment has been crippled. It is pathetic.”
Abutu called on those in possession of the arms and ammunition to return them to the nearest police station or community leaders.
He noted that three firearms were returned to some police formations on Friday.
“One of them was returned to the Area Commander Ajah, ACP Gbolahan. It was found somewhere and the community alerted him.
“They [policemen] went to pick it. If the community sees it [firearm] and refuses to report, the weapon will still be used to unleash terror on the population. That is why we are appealing to community leaders, youths and other stakeholders to be on the lookout,” the committee chairman added.
According to the newspaper, the committee is expected to submit its report to Adamu within three weeks.