President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered for the arrest of the immediate past National Security Adviser, NSA, rtd Col Sambo Dasuki, and all other persons indicted in the interim report of the investigative committee earlier inaugurated to look into arms procurement by the Nigerian military for the purpose fighting the Boko Haran insurgency ravaging North-Eastern Nigeria.
The Street Journal recalls that the Federal Government had in August, through the office of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno, set up the committee headed by rtd AVM JON Ode, to unravel the arms scam.
A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said Buhari ordered for the arrest of Dasuki and his alleged accomplices after receiving the interim report of the committee which “unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions.”
The interim report reads in part:
“As part of the findings, the committee has analysed interventions from some organisations 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.
“The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at 8,356,525,184.32 dollars; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and 54,000.00 euros; Fifty Three were failed contracts amounting to 2,378,939,066.27 dollars and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.
“Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt. Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50; 1,671,742,613.58 dollars and 9,905,477.00 euros.
“The contracts, which were said to be for the purchase of four 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, two companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00; 1,661,670,469.71 dollars and 9,905,477.00 euros 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 dollars and 9,905,473.55 euros 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.
“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.
“In the light of these findings, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the relevant organisations to arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts,’’ the statement said.
The interim report also noted that the total extra budgetary interventions collated by the committee, which excluded grants from the state governments and funds collected by the Directorate of State Services and the Police,
was N643.8 billion, while the foreign currency component was $2.2 billion.
It also discovered that payments to the tune of N3.850 billion were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfillment of tax obligations to the Federal Government.
According to the statement, the committee also noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the one billion dollars loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.
“The findings made so far are extremely worrying, considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that the nation’s troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition,” the statement said.