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Nigerians Awaits Messy Corruption Details As Buhari Probes Arms Purchase Since 2007

muhammadu buhari

Panel of generals to examine Yar’Adua, Jonathan govts contracts

some likely contracts

•$466.5m contract to weaponise six Puma helicopters by the Jonathan administration

•N3b contract for the supply of six units of K-38 patrol boats to the disbanded Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMSS)

•Theft of over 200m Euros at PICOMMS and the purchase of two private jets

•$9.3m seized by South Africa

•$1b loan approved by the 7th Senate for arms purchase to fight Boko Haram

•Un-accessed N7b military budget

•Rehabilitation of the Military Reference Hospital in Kaduna

The panel members

•AVM J.O.N. Ode (rtd.) – president
•R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.)
•R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.)
•Brig.-Gen. L. Adekagun (rtd.)
•Brig.-Gen. M. Aminun-Kano (rtd.)
•Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (rtd.)
•Cdre T.D. Ikoli – member,
•Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.)
•Air Cdre I. Shafi’i 
•Col. A.A. Ariyibi
•Gp. Capt. C.A. Oriaku (rtd.)
•Mr. I. Magu (EFCC)
•Brig.-Gen. Y.I. Shalangwa  – secretary

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved a 13-man committee, which will examine the procurement of arms and ammunition for the Armed Forces from 2007 to date.

The period covers the administrations of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

But the committee of former military chiefs may face a major obstacle – arms, ammunition and military hardware are not subjected to vetting by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

Such purchases, The Nation learnt last night, are over 350 in the last eight years. Some of them sparked crises between Service Chiefs and political authorities.

But many retired top military officers are believed to be prepared to testify before the panel, which got no deadline for its job.

For “security reasons”, arms purchases by the military do not go through the BPP – the office that examines government procurements to ensure cost-effectiveness and others.

Before the President raised the panel, there had been some petitions before the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), among others, on some shady deals; in arms procurement.

Some of the controversial issues are

  • $466.5m contract to weaponise six Puma helicopters by the Jonathan administration;
  • N3billion contract for the supply of six units of K-38 patrol boats to the disbanded Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMSS);
  • Theft of over 200m Euros by PICOMMS including the purchase of two private jets;
  • $9.3m cash seized by South Africa;
  • Whereabouts of $1billion loan approved by the 7th Senate for arms purchase to fight Boko Haram;
  • Contract scam over rehabilitation of the Military Reference Hospital in Kaduna

The $466.5m weaponize contract was awarded to a financier of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014 by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, leading to a protest by one of the immediate past Service Chiefs.

About two years ago, a businessman blew the lid open on N3billion contract for the supply of six units of K-38 patrol boats to the disbanded Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMSS).

The businessman alleged that one of the officials of PICOMSS converted N620million down payment for the contract into personal use.

Besides, PICOMSS was enmeshed in the theft of over 200m Euros.

One of the contracts which drew national ourtrage was the seizure in South Africa of $9.3m said to have been meant for the purchase of arms.

President Buhari  directed the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno to convene the investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and munitions in the Armed Forces from 2007 till date.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the investigative committee’s mandate is to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces.

To this end, the statement said that the National Security Adviser has constituted the Investigative Committee as follows: AVM J.O.N. Ode (rtd.) – president, R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.) – member, R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.) – member, Brig.-Gen. L. Adekagun (rtd.) – member, Brig.-Gen. M. Aminun-Kano (rtd.)  – member, Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (rtd.) – member.

Others are: Cdre T.D. Ikoli – member, Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.) – member, Air Cdre I. Shafi’i – member, Col. A.A. Ariyibi – member, Gp. Capt. C.A. Oriaku (rtd.) – member,

Mr. I. Magu (EFCC) – member and Brig.-Gen. Y.I. Shalangwa – secretary.

The establishment of the investigative committee, the statement said, is in keeping with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’s public service.

It reads: “It comes against the background of the myriad of challenges that the Nigerian Armed Forces have faced in the course of ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast, including the apparent deficit in military platforms, with its attendant negative effects on troops’ morale.

“The committee will specifically investigate allegations of non-adherence to correct equipment procurement procedures and the exclusion of relevant logistics branches from arms procurement under past administrations, which, very often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard and unserviceable equipment.”

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