Panic As Presidential Arms Panel Prepares To Submit Report

There is tension and frantic scheming among former army chiefs and other top officers of the Nigerian Army as the Presidential Committee on Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces has concluded its task and is set to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming days.

A reliable source close to the committee, which was set up by President Buhari to probe the procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment in the military from 2007 to 2015, said that that several top retired army officers were indicted, with some already scheming to suppress the content of the report. “The committee members are putting things together and will present their findings to the President next week or so,” a source said.

The source explained that the committee uncovered a lot of things, including the outright stealing of money meant for equipment for the army, inflation of contract, diversion of money for soldiers’ welfare, money for the rehabilitation of barracks and military facilities and many other corrupt practices.

In March 2016, the committee, predominantly made up of retired military officers, had summoned 292 retired and serving top army officers. Last August, President Buhari directed the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno, to set up a 13-member investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and munitions in the Armed Forces from 2007.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that the investigative committee’s mandate was to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the armed forces.

Credit: Vanguard

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