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How did the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) utilise the multi-billion naira it collected from some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for military operations between 2007 and 2015?
This is one of the issues the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is expected to look into as it begins the probe of 56 individuals and organisations, including two former army chiefs – Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah —and former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki, over N405 billion defence contracts scam.
The MDAs were said to have funded the Nigerian Army procurement through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
A document obtained by The Nation said ONSA collected various sums from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others for military operations, but the Defence Headquarters and the Services denied receipt of the money.
The document said: “The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on 13 May 2013 requested funds for the conduct of Operation BOYONA aimed at dislodging terrorists camps along the common borders with Cameroun, Chad and Niger.
“Consequently, the government released N1,340,000,000. 00 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which were disbursed to DHQ and the Services accordingly.
“In August 2013, ONSA requested and got approval for additional N2,000,000,000.00 for logistics requirements and sustenance of troops, which was credited to ONSA’s account.
“However, DHQ and the Services confirmed non receipt of any additional funds for Operation BOYONA.
“The Committee is of the view that the then NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) should be made to account for the N2,000,000,000.00.
“The Committee also noted that between 3 September 2014 and 30 April 2015,
NIMASA funded accounts of the Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield with various
sums totalling N8,542,586,798.58 purportedly to enhance operations of the JTF in the Niger Delta. Neither the need assessment that warranted the release of funds nor the details of the expenditure was made available to the Committee.
“However, analyses of the accounts of the Joint Task Force showed that transfers totalling N6,277,698,885.13 were made to the following companies for yet to be established purposes:
- Jaggan Lt-N1,764,721,724.12
- East Point Integrated Services Ltd-N1,660,514,283.79
- Al Nald Ltd-N804,893,064.22
- Jaggan Trading Company Ltd – N 791,939,812.00
- Paper Warehouse Ltd -N500,315,000.00
- New Building Services -N330,000,000.00
- Jaggan Global Services –N 250,315,000.00
- UVN Global Services Ltd- N 175,000,000.00
Also for probe are 18 serving and retired military officers, a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, three former permanent secretaries, eight former and serving directors in the Ministry of Defence, and 24 companies.
The investigation follows the recommendation of the Air Vice Marshal (AVM) JON Ode Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP).
The money spent between 2007 and 2015 is N185,8 billion and $685,349,692.49 million
The probe’s outcome will determine who among the short listed 56 persons and companies will be arraigned.
The document added: “In continuation of its assignment, the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP) in the Nigerian Armed Forces analysed procurement contracts awarded by or for the Nigerian Army between 2007 and 2015.
“The Committee so far noted that within the period under review, the sum of N71,775,313,451.30 and $685,349,692.49 was spent on Nigerian Army procurement by the Ministries of Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Environment. Others were the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
“Additionally, some state governments, notably Adamawa, Kano and Yobe, as well as Federal Ministries of Finance and Power, funded Nigerian Army operations with the sum of N114,067,739,113.00.
“The contributions made by other states such as Borno and Plateau, among others were not available as at the time of writing this report.
Those serving and retired military officers under investigation are as follows:
Lt Gen OA Ihejirika (Rtd), former COAS; Lt Gen KTJ Minimah (Rtd), former COAS;
Maj Gen JAH Ewansiha (Rtd)- former CTOP(A); Maj Gen U Buzugbe (Rtd), former COPP(A);
Maj Gen ER Chioba (Rtd), former Director-General DICON; Maj Gen AI Muraina (Rtd) former CAB(A); Maj Gen EJ Atewe, former Commander JTF Op PULO SHIELD; Maj Gen DD Kitchener (Rtd)-
former COLOG; Brig Gen DM Onoyiveta, former COS to COAS; Brig Gen AJS Onibasa, former OMT; Brig Gen M Mamman HQ NAE; Col N Ashinze, former SA – NSA; Col AA Abubagaji former AD Fin; Col AM Inuwa former AD Fin (COPP); Lt Col MS Dasuki (Rtd), former NSA; bLt Col El-Hussaini Boyi (Rtd)-former AD Fin; Sqn Ldr M Oyaduogba – Finance Offr JTF Op PULO SHIELD; and 96NA/43/8364 Cpl Abubakar Usman
The serving and retired public officials are ex- Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed; Mr Bukar Goni Aji, former Perm Sec (MOD);Mr Haruna Sanusi former Perm Sec (MOD); Mr EO Oyemomi, former Perm Sec (MOD); Mr Abdulrazak Salau, former DJSD MOD; Mr Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, former DFA MOD; Mrs Josephine N Opara, former DFA MOD; Mr Abdullahi Maikano, former DFA MOD; Mr John Bamidele, former DFA MOD;
Mr Buba M Gamawa; former DJSD MOD; Mr Tajudeen Gbenga Fetuga – former DFA MOD
Alhaji Salisu Shuaibu, former Dir Finance ONSA.
The companies and the Chief Executive Officers involved are Col Olu Bamgbose (Rtd), CEO Bamverde Ltd; Mr Amit Sade, CEO Doiyatec Comms Ltd & DYI Global Services Ltd; Mr Noam Sade, GM Doiyatec Comms & DYI Global Service Ltd; Mr Jimmy Ntuen, CEO Barnes & Tubbies Ltd;
Dr O Ayandele, CEO TS-Y Ltd; Mr Hima Aboubakar, CEO SEI; Alhaji Gujja Attom, CEO Baram International Nig Ltd; and Alhaji Maisudan Bello Mohammed – CEO Dalfam Nig Ltd.
Others are Mr Lawal Oriyomi, CEO 2020 Nig Ltd; Mr Chinedu Onyekwere, CEO Chok Ventures; Mr Eleojo Peters m CEO Clover Nig Ltd; Mr Alon Nelken Samuel, CEO Hadassa Investment Security (Nig) Ltd ; Mr Edward Churchill CEO Westgate Global Trust Ltd;
Capt Rohit Nandal, CEO Hercules Manufacturing (Nig) Ltd; Mr JM Claassens, CEO Conella Services Ltd; Mr Kingsley Onyeabor, EO Phoenix Technology Trading Company;
Mr Donald Peterson,mCEO Richfield Technologies Ltd; Kaja Alexander Onyemachi, CEO Jiangxi 299 Metal & Stones Ltd; Mr Ponnle Abiodun, Berwick Integrated Services Ltd;
CEO Rapiscan System Ltd; CEO Dorema Nigeria Ltd. CEO Progress Ltd;
CEO Koncept Auto Centre Ltd; Mr Kime Egozi.
It was learnt that part of what the EFCC is looking into was how the Nigerian Army procurement was funded by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) including NIMASA.
A source in the EFCC said last night: “All those recommended for investigation by the panel cannot be said to have committed infractions until we have concluded our assignment.
“Do not forget that some of them are still in either the military or in the public service. We will be fair enough in our investigation without hurting the innocent. One or two officers who appeared before this commission before and were released.
“ Most of the companies and their CEOs are also in business, even beyond our shores. We are conducting this investigation with the fear of God and in line with international best practices.
“This is why we have taken time to study the report and to raise a Special Committee of incorruptible detectives and investigators who will be painstaking.
“You can now appreciate why we have neither invited nor arrested anybody recommended for investigation. We are involved in due diligence. Whoever is not guilty will be free. So, it is too early to say whether or not there is aprima face case against them or not.
“After our preliminary findings, we will then invite those that need to be invited.”