BY AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
If the report turned in by the committee mandated to investigate procurement of arms by the previous administration is anything to go by, several serving and retired military personnel may just be on their way to jail as the EFCC has been instructed by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the report turned in by the committee.
A statement made available, signed by the SSA Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu fingered 17 serving and retired military personnel, including Air Chief Marshal AS Badeh (Rtd), Air Marshal MD Umar (Rtd), Air Marshal AN Amosu (Rtd), Maj-Gen. ER Chioba (Rtd), AVM IA Balogun (Rtd) and Lt Col. MS Dasuki (Rtd).
“On the recommendation of the committee established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to carry out further investigation into the misconduct established against the following retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Army,” the statement stated.
Also 21 companies and individuals are also to be quizzed by the EFCC, for their roles in the alleged diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms and ammunition.
“Following the submission of the audit committee’s second interim report, President Buhari has directed the EFCC to investigate the roles of the officers and the following companies and their directors in fundamental breaches associated with the procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF),” the statement explained.
The breaches identified by the Audit Committee include non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence to provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
Furthermore, the procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterized by irregularities and fraud. 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.
Other retired and serving military personnel that would be investigated are; AVM AG Tsakr (Rtd), AVM AG Idowu (Rtd), AVM AM Mamu, AVM OT Oguntoyinbo, AVM T Omenyi, AVM JB Adigun, AVM RA Ojuawo and AVM JA Kayode-Beckley.
Air Cdre SA Yushau (Rtd), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi, Air Cdre GMD Gwani, Air Cdre SO Makinde, Air Cdre AY Lassa and Col N Ashinze sum up the list.
The firms under investigation are Messrs Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux, Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited, )Messrs Syrius Technologies, Sky Experts Nig Ltd, Huzee Nig Ltd, GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd, Spacewebs Interservices Ltd, Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mono Marine Corporation Nig Ltd and Geonel Intergrated Services Ltd.
Individuals that will be questioned are Himma Aboubakar, Dr Theresa A. Ittu, Omenyi Ifeanyi Tony, Gbujie Peter Obie, Onuri Samuel Ugochukwu, Oguntoyinbo Tayo and Oguntoyinbo Funmi.
Also in the list are Chief Jacobs Bola, Sachi Felicia, Mudaki Polycarp and Wolfgang Reinl.