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Friday, 27 October 2017

$2.1b arms deals: Ministers, perm secs, others indicted

$2.1b arms deals: Ministers, perm secs, others indicted

Two ministers, three ex-ministers, six permanent secretaries and more military officers have been indicted in the $2.1billion arms deals scandal.

The indictment is in the fourth report of the Special Investigative Panel on Arms Procurement in the Armed Forces.

But one year after the submission of the report, the government is yet to take any action on it.

Some members of the panel are worried that some Presidency officials do not want the report released to the public.

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Other members are feeling bad that the officials may have been interested in only the initial reports which indicted a former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki, a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, two ex-Chiefs of Air Staff and a former Chief of Naval Staff.

They wonder why others implicated in the arms deals probe are yet to be named or handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

A source said: “Going by the records of the panel, October 23 marked exactly one year that the fourth report of the committee was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“From the report of the committee, those who have cases to answer are two serving ministers, three-ex-Ministers, six permanent secretaries and more serving military officers.

“There is disquiet in the panel that up till now, no action has been taken on the report because some forces in the Presidency are unhappy with some of the recommendations therein.”

Members were expecting a swift response on the report as t was the case during the first and second batches of reports on Dasuki, Badeh, two ex-Chiefs of Air Staff, and a former Chief of Naval Staff.

“And as part of the larger script to frustrate the report, what came eventually was the suspension of the activities of the panel,” the source said, pleading not to be named.

“In fact, a member of the panel, Rear Admiral T.D. Ikoli, died controversially while awaiting action on this same report. There were also botched attempts to use some committees of the National Assembly to review the findings of the panel. But the moves were resisted by the panel.

“Members of the panel are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the findings in the Fourth Report and bring those concerned to justice,” the source said.

Asked to be specific on the list of those indicted in the Fourth Report, the top source added: “The names are in the report; it is left to the government to unveil them.

“Do not forget, all members of the committee have copies of the report. At the appropriate time, history will judge.

“We are in an era in which there is no hiding place for anybody. We are not a bunch of fools. That era is gone.”

Members of the panel are said to be feeling guilty, “as if they were used to only target some military officers, politicians, businessmen and companies”. “These indicted military officers were their course mates, close associates and military colleagues. What they are demanding” is equality and justice for all, another source said.

Members of the investigative committee are: AVM J.O.N. Ode (retd.) –Chairman; R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (retd.) ; R/Adm E. Ogbor (retd.) ; Brig-Gen L. Adekagun (retd.); Brig-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (retd.) ; and Brig-Gen. N. Rimtip (retd.) .

Others are Rear Admiral T.D. Ikoli ; Air Cdre U. Mohammed (retd.); Air Cdre I. Shafi’I; Col A.A. Ariyibi ; Gp Capt C.A. Oriaku (retd.); Mr. Ibrahim Magu (EFCC); and Brig-Gen. Y.I. Shalangwa – Secretary.

Some of the areas of investigation are:


how 10 contracts totaling $930,500,690.00 were awarded;

payment of N4,402,687,569.41 for unexecuted contracts;

Procurement of two used Mi-24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at $136,944,000.00;

Purchase of four used Alpha-Jets for the NAF at US$7,180,000.00 funded by ONSA;

cannibalisation of engines from NAF fleet to justify procurement of jets;

excessive pricing of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar at $33m instead of $6m per one;

delivery of radars without vital component of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) that distinguishes between own and adversary aircraft; and
strange transfer of $2m to Mono Marine Corporation Nigeria Limited owned by some Air Force officers.

The others are:

N15bn lavished on the maintenance of its Alpha-Jets, C-130H aircraft and Mi-24V/35P helicopters.

N2.5billion contracts awarded to Syrius Technologies( Ukrainian company) not registered in Nigeria
a
ward of 7 contracts at N599,118,000.00 to Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria(DICON). Two were delivered.

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