Buhari Orders EFCC To Probe Ex- Service Chiefs, 36 Others
President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to carry out further investigation over the alleged misconduct against some of retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Army.
Those affected includes the former National Security Adviser, Lt.-Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.); and two former Chiefs of Air Staff, Air Marshal MD Umar (retd.) and Air Marshal Adesola Amosun (retd.).
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, announced the President’s directive in a statement made available to journalists on Friday.
He said the presidential instruction was based on the recommendation of the committee set up to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015.
He listed others that the President had asked the EFCC to probe to include: Maj.-Gen. ER Chioba (retd.); AVM IA Balogun (retd.); AVM AG Tsakr (retd.); AVM AG Idowu (retd.);AVM AM Mamu; AVM OT Oguntoyinbo; AVM T Omenyi; AVM JB Adigun; AVM RA Ojuawo; AVM JA Kayode-Beckley; Air Cdre SA Yushau (retd.); Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi; Air Cdre GMD Gwani; Air Cdre SO Makinde; Air Cdre AY Lassa; and Col. N Ashinze.
Shehu further said that as a result of the submission of the audit committee’s second interim report, the President had also told the EFCC to investigate the roles of the officers as well as some companies and their accomplice in the breaches associated with the procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Air Force.
He also listed the names of those affected: Messrs Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux; Himma Aboubakar; Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited; Messrs Syrius Technologies; Dr. Theresa A. Ittu; Sky Experts Nig Ltd.; Omenyi Ifeanyi Tony; Huzee Nig. Ltd.; GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd.; Gbujie Peter Obie and Onuri Samuel Ugochukwu.
Others include Spacewebs Interservices Ltd.; Oguntoyinbo Tayo; Oguntoyinbo Funmi; Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd.; Chief Jacobs Bola; Mono Marine Corporation Nig. Ltd.; Geonel Intergrated Services Ltd.; Sachi Felicia; Mudaki Polycarp and Wolfgang Reinl.
The presidential spokesman said the breaches made known 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.
He added that the procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterised by irregularities and fraud.
In most cases, the items procured 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.
Between January 2014 and February 2015, NAF awarded 10 contracts totalling Nine Hundred and Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety US Dollars ($930,500,690.00) to SEI Nig Ltd.
Letters of award and End User Certificates for all the contracts issued by NAF and ONSA respectively did not reflect the contract sums. Rather, these were only found in the vendor’s invoices, all dated 19 March 2015.
In addition, some of the award letters had wrong delivery dates suggesting fraudulent intent in the award process. The observed discrepancies are in clear contravention of extant procurement regulations.
The SEI contracts included procurement of two used Mi-24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at the cost of One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Four Thousand US Dollars ($136,944,000.00).
However, it was confirmed that the helicopters were highly priced and not operationally air worthy at the time of delivery. A brand new unit of such helicopters goes for about Thirty Million US Dollars ($30m). Furthermore, the helicopters were delivered without rotor blades and upgrade accessories.