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More trouble for Dasuki: Buhari receives interim report of committee on arms procurement, orders arrest of indicted persons

Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd)
Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd)

The 13 man Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement, set up by the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, has found that N643,817,955,885.18 (Six Hundred and Forty Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventeen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Five Hundred Naira and Eighteen Kobo and $2,193,815,000.83 (Two Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifteen Thousand US Dollars and Eighty Three Cents) was spent as extra budgetary interventions in the war against Boko Haram with little or nothing to show for such huge expenditure.
According to a press release by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, an interim report submitted by the Committee, which was set up on the authority of the President, also revealed that the above amounts exclude grants from State Governments and funds collected by the DSS and the Police.
The Committee, which was inaugurated on 31 August 2015, was set up to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date and is yet to complete its work. However, its interim report has, according to Adesina, unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions based on which the President “has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts.”
The release said further that “as part of the findings, the committee has analyzed interventions from some organizations that provided funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters and Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, both in local and foreign currencies” and observed that in spite of the “huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defense procurement.
“The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; Fifty Three (53) were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.
“Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.
“The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N3,850,000,000.00) were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the FGN.
“Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50, $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00. The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.
“Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, 2 companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71 and €9,905,477.00 alone. This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.
“Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer the sum of $132,050,486.97 and €9,905,473.55 to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for un-ascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.
“The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition. Had the funds siphoned to these non performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.
“Furthermore, the ridicule Nigeria has faced in the international community would have been avoided. It is worrisome and disappointing that those entrusted with the security of this great nation were busy using proxies to siphon the national treasury, while innocent lives were wasted daily,” the statement lamented, stressing that it is in the light of these findings, that President Buhari “has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts.”

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