President Muhammadu Buhari once stated that his ministers are not corrupt.
Well, that myth has just been busted as one of President Buhari’s confidant and top ally has just been fingered in a fraud connected with purchase of arms for the Nigerian military.
The Presidential Committee on Defense Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces was set up by President Buhari to probe purchase of arms from 2007 to 2015.
The report has indicted Buhari’s minister of interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau.
The report also indicted former Chief of army staff, Kenneth Minimah, and his predecessor, Azubuike Ihejirika.
It is reported that Mr. Dambazau is doing everything possible to suppress the content of the report. He was appointed the chief of army staff by late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
A source close the committee that undertook the investigation stated that “The committee members are putting things together and will present its findings to the president in the next week or so.”
Our source described what he called brazen loot of the nation’s common asset. Contracts were massively padded, monies diverted.
One incident that pained the committee was the diversion of funds meant for the rehabilitation of barracks and military facilities and many other corrupt practices.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that “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.
“This includes the apparent deficit in military platforms with its attendant negative effects of troops’ morale.
“The committee will specifically investigate allegations of non-adherence to correct equipment procurement procedures.
The Buhari administration has so far arrested former chief of air force, Adesola Amosu, Sambo Dasuki, Alex Badeh, and Mohammed Umar.
“The procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterized by irregularities and fraud,” the panel said. “In many cases, the procured items failed to meet the purposes they were procured for, especially the counter insurgency efforts in the North East.”
“A major procurement activity undertaken by ONSA for NAF was that concerning the contracts awarded to Societe D’ Equipment Internationaux (SEI) Nig Ltd,” Femi stated.
It is believed President Buhari will not let Dambazau off the hook. If he does, this will massively erode his anti-corruption war.