President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly concluded plans to sack two officials of his government indicted in the arms procurement final report.
The 13-man Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces (2007-2015) submitted its final report last week. It was reported that the final report indicted some influential officials of the present and immediate past administrations.
The probe cut across procurement of arms and related military contracts between 2007 and 2015. It involves the Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Navy (NN), and Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The arms panel also probed the activities of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMS).
The report also indicted a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), an ex-Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) and some former ministers of defence. Also, senior military officers, a permanent secretary, top officials of the Ministry of Defence and several contractors were fingered.
The panel had recommended that the indicted persons and firms should be prosecuted and made to return some huge amount of money. The EFCC is expected to commence investigation of those indicted as soon as the president releases the report of the arms probe.
Anger In Presidency Over Arms Probe
Consequently, sources in the presidency said PMB was under intense pressure to ease out his senior appointees found wanting in the report. It was gathered that Buhari’s zero tolerance for corruption will weigh-in substantially.
There is also rising anger among those privy to the reports. This is because of the manner public funds meant for arms procurement were allegedly diverted.
“It is most likely that Mr. President will excuse two top officials of his government. Don’t forget that his avowed commitment to the ongoing anti-corruption fight, is total. The president would not shield anybody from investigation and prosecution, no matter whose ox is gored.
“The final report is too weighty and indicting, and those in the know are furious about startling discoveries.” Like other indicted persons, it was learnt that the two top officials of the Buhari administration were also quizzed by the probe panel.
Arms Probe Report May Be Suppressed
Meanwhile, there are fears that the panel report will be suppressed because of those indicted in the latest report. A source, however, said that the president will not tinker with the panel’s report which indicted some officials of the present administration.
The Air Vice Marshal J.O.N Ode (rtd)-led panel was established in August 2015 and sat for 14 months.
Before the final report, the panel had turned in two interim reports, which indicted serving and retired military officers. It had indicted former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd); former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd); former Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika (rtd), and Lt.- Gen. Kenneth Minimah (rtd). It also indicted ex-Chiefs of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal M.D Umar (rtd), and Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd)