Panel unveils how Nigeria was duped
facts & figures
Extra budgetry interventions
Failed contracts (53 out of 513 awarded between 2007&2015)
Cash paid to company without evidence of any contract
Fictitous contracts awarded
Four Alpha jets12 helicopters •Bombs & ammunition
Equipment purportedly paid for but not supplied
N350b •$1.6b • €9.9b
Contracts awarded to two firms
$132m • €9.9m
CBN transfers to banks without purpose on Dasuki’s instruction
Those implicated by the investigative panel on arms procurement have been ordered arrested by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency said last night.
On top of the list – indeed the only one mentioned – is former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki.
But a source said last night that a former Chief of Army Staff was among the suspects.
Another said the suspects were not named to prevent their escape from Nigeria.
The interim report chronicles alleged massive mismanagement, misappropriation and outright theft of public funds in billions of naira and in foreign currencies –dollars, euro and pounds sterling.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement that the President issued the executive order for the arrests after receiving the preliminary report of the probe of arms procurement between 2007 and 2015 by the committee raised on August 31 by National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Babagana Munguno.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the relevant organisations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts,” the statement said last night.
The preliminary report submitted by the Air Vice Marshal (AVM) O.N. Ode (rtd)-led panel listed the many cases established against Col. Dasuki, who is currently in the eye of the storm.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered that he should be allowed to travel abroad, but the Department of State Services (DSS) said he must accept an invitation to defend himself in connection with some deals he was allegedly involved in.
Col. Dasuki has declined to accept the letter of invitation, preferring to remain within his Abuja residence. But he has not been able to travel. He is on trial for illegal arms possession.
Other members of the panel are: R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.), R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.), Brig.- Gen L. Adekagun (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (rtd.), Cdre T.D. Ikoli, Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.), Air Cdre I. Shafi’I, Col A.A. Ariyibi, Gp. Capt. C.A. Oriaku (rtd.), Mr. Ibrahim Magu (EFCC) and Brig.- Gen Y.I. Shalangwa as secretary.
Part of the mandate of the panel is “in keeping with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’s public service”.
Yesterday’s statement on the interim report of the panel said: “On the authority of Mr President, a 13-man committee was set up by the Office of the National Security Adviser to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date.
“While the committee which was inaugurated on 31 August 2015 is yet to complete its work, its interim report has unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions.
“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.
“So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is 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 (N643,817,955,885.18).
“The foreign currency component is to the tune of two billion, one hundred and ninety three million, eight hundred and fifteen thousand us dollars and eighty three cents ($2,193,815,000.83).
“These amounts exclude grants from the state governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this 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, two 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.”