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$2.1b Arms Deals: Panel Summons More Military Officers

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The Special Investigative Panel on Arms Procurement by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has invited more serving and retired military officers.

The list of the affected officers has been sent to their units, The Nation learnt yesterday.

It was learnt that some officers holding some position from 2007 till date might be questioned by the panel.

Besides, some former Service Chiefs have also been invited by the panel, based on some facts and figures before it.

Some former Service Chiefs might share their experience and compare notes on the procedures in place while in the military.

A source spoke of “a long list of serving and retired officers” to be invited. “Anyone that had anything to do with procurement in the services was included,” the source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the media, said, adding:

“The list is now with the services which will make the efforts to reach all the officers, especially the retired ones.

“The interrogation of those invited will soon begin. Many officers were involved in the procurement process in the services and as the panel members go through heaps of files, they discovered that the network of those who mismanaged procurement funds has grown over the years.

“We are beginning to see that a syndicate had been at work for many years, diverting funds meant for procurement of arms, ammunition and military hardware for the Armed Forces.”

Asked to be specific on those on the list, the source said: “The appropriate service will release the names of those invited.

“I can tell you that some former Service Chiefs have been summoned by the panel to explain their roles in arms procurement, based on some facts and figures available to the panel.

“Some of these Service Chiefs might also share their experience and compare notes on the procedures in place while in the military.

“The input from some of the ex-Service Chiefs will assist the panel in making its recommendations to guide against such sleaze in the future.”

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A former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.) is facing trial over $2.1billion arms deals.

Also, a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal A.N. Amosu (retd.); ex-National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); and Col. N. Ashinze (Special Military Assistant to the ex-NSA are in detention.

Others to be probed are 22 companies traced to associates and relatives of some of the suspects.

Some of those affected are the most senior Air Force officer, AVM A. M. Mamu(the Chief of Administration); AVM O.T.Oguntoyinbo (former Director of Production, Defence Headquarters);  AVM R.A. Ojuawo (Air Officer Tactical Air Command, Makurdi;  AVM J.B. Adigun(former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF); and AVM JA Kayode-Beckley(Director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre); AVM T Omenyi (MD, NAF Holdings)four top officers at the Defence Headquarters(DHQ), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi; Air Cdre GMD Gwani; Air Cdre SO Makinde; and Air Cdre AY Lassa.

Some of the areas of investigation are as follows:

  • How 10 contracts totaling $930,500,690.00 were awarded
  • Payment of N4, 402,687,569.41 for unexecuted contracts
  • Procurement of two used Mi-24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at $136,944,000.00.
  • 4 used Alpha-Jets for the NAF at US$7,180,000.00 funded by ONSA
  • Cannibalization of engines from NAF fleet to justify procurement of jets
  • Excessive pricing of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar at $33m instead of $6m per one
  • Delivery of radars without  vital component of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) that distinguishes between own and adversary aircraft
  • Strange transfer of $2m to Mono Marine Corporation Nigeria Limited owned by some Air Force officers
  • N15bn lavished on the maintenance of its Alpha-Jets, C-130H aircraft and Mi-24V/35P helicopters.
  • N2.5billion contracts awarded to Syrius Technologies( Ukrainian company) not registered in Nigeria
  • Award of 7 contracts worth N599,118,000.00 contracts to Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria(DICON) but two delivered.

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