Under Buhari’s Watch: Theft, illegal sale of arms to criminals contribute to missing 178,459 ammunition in Nigeria Police

Lukman ABOLADE 

THEFT and illegal sales of firearms and ammunition by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force to criminals is a primary reason responsible for the missing 178,459 firearms and ammunitions across all Police commands, zonal formations and other departments of the NPF, The ICIR has found.

The missing firearms and ammunition were contained in a report released from the Office of the Auditor-General on non-compliance /internal control weakness issues across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal government, states that as of December 2018, 3907 firearms were unaccounted for.

The report states that out of the 178,459 firearms and ammunitions, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles and 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols that disappeared from different formations nationwide. All these could not be accounted for as of January 2020.


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According to the report, 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols were unaccounted for; a breakdown shows that 601 firearms were missing across the 15 Training Institutions of the NPF, 42 in the 23 formations of the NPF, 1514 across the 37 Police Command, 29 in all the zonal formations and 1721 across the Police Mobile Force 1-68.

The ICIR findings showed that some of the firearms and ammunition stolen and sold by operatives of the force contributed to the number of missing firearms.

In January 2017, a police officer identified as Bulus Jatau was dismissed for stealing firearms and ammunition from the armoury of the Police Mounted Troop Unit in Kaduna state.

According to a report, the firearms recovered from those he sold them include one pump-action gun, a Beretta pistol, four English revolver pistols and 50 rounds of 9mm live ammunition.

Earlier in 2021, an Inspector in the Nigerian Police force, Nathaniel Manasseh, was also paraded for allegedly selling police firearms to criminals in Imo state. Manasseh said he was ‘charmed’.

Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba
Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba

Also, in 2014, a Kaduna Police Command armament officer, Nanbol Audu, was caught with two unknown persons in a private vehicle after stealing arms and ammunition from the armoury.

The then Kaduna Police Commissioner, Umar Ambursa, told reporters that during a search of the vehicle Audu was caught with 11 G3 Rifles concealed under the vehicle’s seat.

He was arrested inside the command alongside two other suspects to whom he wanted to sell the firearms.

“The two suspects came from Jos, Plateau State, on arrangement to purchase the said firearms from the armament officer at the cost of N400,000,” the commissioner said.

In 2016, 14 police officers were also dismissed for selling firearms and explosives to militants and kidnappers.

There is no specific data on how many police officers have been dismissed for stealing or selling firearms and ammunition.

The Police Service Commission is responsible for the discipline of erring Police officers in Nigeria.

A check on the PSC annual reports of 2017, 2019, 2020 did not detail the offences for which police officers were dismissed.

When The ICIR contacted the PSC Spokesperson Ikechukwu Ani, he said he was unavailable to speak.

These illegal activities are rife across the Police Commands for years and have dampened the public trust in the force, The ICIR has found out.

In Nigeria, the Force Headquarters is responsible for providing arms and ammunition to Police officers in the country.

These arms and ammunition are distributed across all police commands and formations in the country.

In every police command, an appointed armament officer is in charge of keeping arms and their movement.

A command also distributes the firearms and ammunition across its divisions where an armourer is appointed to assign  weapon to a police officer.

A retired Police Inspector, Joseph Uzoma told The ICIR that police firearms mostly get stolen at the headquarters and not the division.

“It’s very hard for anyone to steal firearms or ammunitions in police divisions because they only have a few of it, if one goes missing, it’ll be too obvious, in my experience, I majorly hear about it in Command headquarters,” Uzoma said.

He noted that it was almost impossible for police to steal ammunition at the divisional level because only a few are given to police officers.

“During my time, some police officers would go as far as buying bullets from the black market when they are going for operations because they are not given enough, so how are they going to steal, the headquarters should be questioned,” he noted.

A security expert Senator Iroegbu told The ICIR that the report of the Auditor-General is a severe indictment on the Nigeria Police Force.

He said the report raises many questions on the monitoring mechanism of the NPF because it took the OAGF report to disclose the missing firearms and ammunition.

“We have been hearing issues of human rights violation, accidental discharge and other traces of missing firearms, it begs the question of whether it is a clandestine activity that some people are running within the NPF because if it was random, the NPF should have apprehended them, anything other than that means that there is a sophisticated illegal activity going on,” Iroegbu said.

He noted that the report is critical, given the upsurge in insecurity by different criminal groups witnessed across the country.

The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, Frank Mba did not respond to calls and a text message from this reporter on this report.

The ICIR asked why the Force recorded such a high number of missing firearms and ammunition, but Mba did not respond.

Panama Papers wins UK’s Investigation of the Decade award

The Panama Papers has been named the Investigation of the Decade by the British Journalism Awards, media industry publication Press Gazette announced on Thursday.

The 2016 investigation, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in partnership with The Guardian and BBC’s Panorama program in the United Kingdom, exposed offshore financial secrets linked to then-Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a cast of politicians, criminals and celebrities from around the globe.

It was chosen as the Investigation of the Decade from a shortlist made up of previous British Journalism Award winners.

The Panama Papers first received top honors at the British Journalism Awards in 2016, when judges applauded the investigative work done by The Guardian and BBC Panorama that “shone a light in some of the darkest corners of international finance.”

“They managed to break down a vast investigation into a series of compelling stories which had global impact,” judges said.

The Panama Papers was based on a trove of 11.5 million secret documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that were leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. ICIJ brought together a team of more than 370 reporters from 100 media outlets for the investigation, which exposed a worldwide web of offshore shell companies that Mossack Fonseca set up for a list of clients including heads of state, business executives and star athletes.

The investigation sparked the resignation of world leaders and other politicians, including the prime minister of Iceland, and has since become a byword for exposing financial chicanery and political corruption. Governments around the world have recouped more than $1.36 billion in back taxes and penalties as a direct result of the Panama Papers, and authorities are still investigating allegations of tax dodging and other wrongdoing more than five years after stories were first published.

ICIJ’s subsequent investigations into financial secrecy and corruption, including the Paradise Papers, FinCEN Files and, most recently, the Pandora Papers, have been cited in parliaments, courthouses, public discourse and popular culture and credited with building a global momentum for new laws and substantial reforms to the way money flows around the world. In 2021, ICIJ and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice were jointly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the organizations’ “success in building global alliances” to increase transparency in the global financial system.

Was Mary Magdalene really from Magdala?

 Jan 11, 2022 by Yonat Shimron
RNS-Magdalene-Scholar3-071919 CROP.jpg

Detail from artist Alexander Ivanov's 1835 painting "Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene After the Resurrection" (RNS/Creative Commons)

Detail from artist Alexander Ivanov’s 1835 painting “Christ’s Appearance to Mary Magdalene After the Resurrection” (RNS/Creative Commons)

 

The findings were heralded with bold headlines. Archaeologists excavating near the Israeli town of Migdal, also known as Magdala, had found remnants of a first-century synagogue.

“2nd-Temple-period synagogue found where Gospel’s Mary Magdalene was born,” The Jerusalem Post’s Dec. 12 headline declared. Newsweek, Express UK and Smithsonian Magazine followed up with similar headlines.

The discovery of the ancient synagogue in the town on the western edge of the Sea of Galilee is surely significant and adds tangible evidence of Jewish life in first-century Palestine at the time of Jesus’ ministry.

But two scholars from the U.S. and the U.K. are calling into question the quick assumption that the town is the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ earliest followers and the first witness to his resurrection.

In a paper published in December, Elizabeth Schrader, a doctoral student at Duke University, and Joan Taylor, a professor at King’s College, London, argue that the assumption Magdala refers to Mary’s place of origin is entirely speculative.

Instead, they say, Magdalene may well be an honorific from the Hebrew and Aramaic roots for “tower” or “magnified.”

Just as the Apostle Peter is given the epithet “rock,” (“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”), Mary could well have acquired a title “Magdalene” meaning “tower of faith,” or “Mary the magnified.”

“Although there have been various ways of understanding her name, no author prior to the sixth century identifies her as coming from a place beside the Sea of Galilee,” the authors write in the Journal of Biblical Literature’s December issue. “Several ancient authors actually understood Mary’s nickname to be rooted in her character rather than her provenance.”

The paper is part of a reconsideration of Mary Magdalene, long mistaken for a prostitute and marginalized by the early church fathers. Scholars are reexamining the Gospels and early Christian writings in an effort to recover the real Mary from the diminished figure that emerged from the pens of the early church fathers.

Elizabeth Schrader’s 2011 song “Magadalene,” according to her website, inspired her scholarly theological studies. (Vimeo/Libbie Schrader)

Schrader, a former singer-songwriter in the New York pop scene, has been at this task for a while. In a paper published in 2017, she examined the story of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel of John. Poring over hundreds of hand-copied early Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Gospel, Schrader found that the name Martha, another New Testament woman, identified as Lazarus’ sister, had sometimes shown signs of being altered. The scribes scratched out one letter and replaced it with another, thereby changing the original name “Mary” to read “Martha,” in a possible deliberate downplaying of Mary’s role in the story.

Mary’s diminishment took place slowly as Christianity grew more patriarchal. Perhaps the biggest blow to her reputation came in the sixth century, when Pope Gregory the Great conflated Mary Magdalene with the “sinful woman” who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume in Luke 7. That woman is never mentioned by name by the writer of Luke’s Gospel. But for the next 1,500 years Mary Magdalene was often equated to a prostitute, or in modern parlance, a sex worker.

Joan Taylor CROP.jpg

Joan Taylor (King's College London)

Joan Taylor (King’s College London)

As Schrader and Taylor demonstrate, there was no consensus about Mary or her origins in antiquity. In fact, there were multiple locations named Migdal throughout Judea and Galilee. The fourth-century Christian historian Eusebius thought Magdala was a town in Judea, not Galilee.

St. Jerome, best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (a version called the Vulgate), said he believed Mary got the name Magdalene because she was a tower of faith — a “tower-ess” as he puts it in a letter from the year 412.

Later, during the Byzantine era and especially during the period of the Crusades from the 11th to the 13th centuries, a town near the Sea of Galilee known initially as el-Mejdal became a Christian pilgrimage site known as Magdala. It still is.

“What we’re saying is that it wasn’t a site at the time of Jesus,” said Taylor. “At that time, there was a city called Tarichaea, which is mentioned by Josephus and Pliny. But it was never called Magdala in the Roman period.”

Journalists weren’t the only ones to allege Mary was from Magdala. In a statement announcing the excavation of the synagogue, University of Haifa excavation director Dina Avshalom-Gorni said, “We can imagine Mary Magdalene and her family coming to the synagogue here, along with other residents of Migdal, to participate in religious and communal events.”

webRNS-Mary-Magdala1-010722 RESIZE.jpg

Archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni works at a synagogue uncovered in Migdal, Israel, in 2009. The synagogue contained a stone embossed with the image of a seven-branched menorah. (RNS/Courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority/University of Haifa)

Archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni works at a synagogue uncovered in Migdal, Israel, in 2009. The synagogue contained a stone embossed with the image of a seven-branched menorah. (RNS/Courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority/University of Haifa and Yoli Schwartz)

For some, rooting Mary in the town of Magdala is important. Archaeologists need funding for their digs. If they can connect their work to a biblical figure or event, private and institutional funding will start pouring in, Taylor said.

Evangelicals in particular, eager to find physical evidence the Bible is historically true, are wedded to the idea that Mary came from the town of Magdala. So are some feminist scholars who want to disassociate Mary Magdalene from the sinful woman in Luke 7.

But situating Mary in Magdala also shuts the door to Mary’s legacy.

“If you say she’s from Magdala it eliminates the possibility that ‘Magdalene’ indicates a title of a more prominent disciple,” said Schrader.

Considering “Magdalene” as an honorific also restores her dignity, added Taylor. “It creates a clean slate for her to be recovered in a fresh way.”

‘Work is essential for growth in holiness’, Pope Francis

In his catechesis at the General Audience focusing on Saint Joseph, Pope Francis looks at Joseph’s life as a worker, and says the dignity of labour is essential for our human development and our growth in holiness.

By Vatican News staff writer

In his catechesis, Pope Francis looked at how the evangelists Matthew and Mark refer to Joseph as a “carpenter”, from the Greek term tekton, which referred to a generic qualification of those working as woodworkers and craftsmen in construction. He pointed out how it was a hard job, requiring strength but not generating great earnings.

Looking at Saint Joseph helps remind us of all workers today, especially those who do gruelling work in mines and certain factories, the Pope pointed out.

He especially recalled those who are exploited and children who are “forced to work and those who rummage among the trash in search of something useful to trade.” This reality also brings to mind those who are out of a job and suffering greatly because of it, especially families struggling to survive, he added.

“In these times of pandemic, many people have lost their jobs — and some, crushed by an unbearable burden, reached the point of taking their own lives. I would like to remember each of them and their families today.”

Sanctification in work

The Pope also underlined that work is an essential part of human life and even a “path of sanctification.”

“Work is not only a means of earning a living: it is also a place where we express ourselves, feel useful, and learn the great lesson of concreteness, which helps keep the spiritual life from becoming spiritualism.”

The sad fact is that labour often becomes trapped in problems related to social injustice, rather than being protected to respect human dignity and guarantee livelihoods, the Pope observed.

He said it would be good to ask ourselves as well with what spirit we carry out our daily work, and how our work relates to others and our destiny.

Looking to Jesus as a model worker

Pope Francis pointed out it is also good to see how Jesus himself worked and learned his trade from St. Joseph.

“Today, we should ask ourselves what we can do to recover the value of work; and what contribution we can make, as the Church, so that work can be redeemed from the logic of mere profit and can be experienced as a fundamental right and duty of the person, which expresses and increases his or her dignity.”

Bombshell Report Finds Military Documents Contradict Fauci’s Gain of Function Testimony

by Hannity Staff – 1.11.22

Anthony Fauci | Fortune

NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci may be in some trouble here.

According to documents uncovered by Project Veritas, EcoHealth Alliance, a known collaborator with Fauci’s NIH, approached the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in March of 2018, looking to fund Project Defuse — an initiative to conduct gain of function research of coronaviruses from bats.

According to Project Veritas, because the proposal violated a gain of function research moratorium, it was rejected by DARPA. But, reportedly, Fauci pushed on anway.

“According to the documents, NIAID, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, proceeded with the research at the Wuhan Virology Lab in China and at several sites other across the US.,” The Post Millennial reports.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) shared the information on Twitter:

“Jaw dropping report just dropped by Project Veritas. Never before seen military Documents obtained by #ProjectVeritas about Gain of Function directly contradict Dr. Fauci testimony under oath. #ExposeFauci”

Narrative Collapses, Top Scientist Unloads on the Authorities

By January 12, 2022

Udi Qimron, head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University and a leading Israeli immunologist, has taken the opportunity posed by the collapsing narrative to release this open letter to the authorities (this is a mechanical translation from the original Hebrew):

Ministry of Health, it’s time to admit failure

In the end, the truth will always be revealed, and the truth about the coronavirus policy is beginning to be revealed. When the destructive concepts collapse one by one, there is nothing left but to tell the experts who led the management of the pandemic – we told you so.

Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.

You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda “you overcame the plague.” And again you defeated it, and again and again and again.

You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective, despite your own contingency plans explicitly stating so (“Pandemic Influenza Health System Preparedness Plan, 2007,” p. 26).

You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination — and you failed in that as well.

You insisted on ignoring the fact that the disease is dozens of times more dangerous for risk groups and older adults, than for young people who are not in risk groups, despite the knowledge that came from China as early as 2020.

You refused to adopt the “Great Barrington Declaration,” signed by more than 60,000 scientists and medical professionals, or other common-sense programs. You chose to ridicule, slander, distort and discredit them. Instead of the right programs and people, you have chosen professionals who lack relevant training for pandemic management (physicists as chief government advisers, veterinarians, security officers, media personnel, and so on).

You have not set up an effective system for reporting side effects from the vaccines and reports on side effects have even been deleted from your Facebook page. Doctors avoid linking side effects to the vaccine, lest you persecute them as you did to some of their colleagues. You have ignored many reports of changes in menstrual intensity and menstrual cycle times. You hid data that allows for objective and proper research (for example, you removed the data on passengers at Ben Gurion Airport). Instead, you chose to publish non-objective articles together with senior Pfizer executives on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

Irreversible damage to trust

However, from the heights of your hubris, you have also ignored the fact that in the end the truth will be revealed. And it begins to be revealed. The truth is that you have brought the public’s trust in you to an unprecedented low, and you have eroded your status as a source of authority. The truth is that you have burned hundreds of billions of shekels to no avail – for publishing intimidation, for ineffective tests, for destructive lockdowns and for disrupting the routine of life in the last two years.

You have destroyed the education of our children and their future. You made children feel guilty, scared, smoke, drink, get addicted, drop out, and quarrel, as school principals around the country attest. You have harmed livelihoods, the economy, human rights, mental health and physical health.

You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarized the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.

When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries — you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployed you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed — are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.

There is currently no medical emergency, but you have been cultivating such a condition for two years now because of lust for power, budgets and control. The only emergency now is that you still set policies and hold huge budgets for propaganda and consciousness engineering instead of directing them to strengthen the health care system.

Fauci, Walensky dodge when asked about number of vaccine deaths

Amid the most ambitious vaccination effort in the history of the world, Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Anthony Fauci didn’t have an answer to the question of how many people have died because of COVID vaccines.

Source: Fauci, Walensky dodge when asked about number of vaccine deaths