I Did Not Steal $2.9 Billion Arms Funds, Says Dasuki

Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)
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Following an order for his arrest, alongside others, by President Muhammadu Buhari, over alleged diversion of $2.9 billion meant to purchase arms for the military, embattled former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd.) has described the allegation as not only surprising but embarrassing.
According to the former NSA, the 13-man panel set up by Buhari to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date, never invited him (Dasuki) formally or informally to appear before it, wondering how the panel) came up with the interim report without hearing from him.
Responding to the order by Buhari to arrest him, the ex-NSA told PRNigeria that “I have never been invited formally or informally to appear before the panel. I am therefore not only surprised but embarrassed by seeming indictment by the panel purportedly operating from Office of the National Security Adviser that never contacted me.
“For the record, I am proud to serve my nation with the best of intention and ensuring the recovery of more than 22 local government councils from Boko Haram terrorists.
“Because of the pride on how we tackled terrorism and defeated Boko Haram terrorists through our gallant troops and partners in the twilight of the previous administration, that is the reason I have insisted on open and public trial of my stewardship rather than secret trial in the court as being canvassed by my prosecutors.”
“I wish Nigerians will go back and reflect on what we did with even little or no supports from some countries, we performed miracles before the emergence of this administration. Even though the committee was to investigate procurement from 2007 to 2015, yet only my name is always being mentioned even when some of the issues were before I came into the government.”
President Buhari had on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Dasuki for allegedly siphoning billions of dollars earmarked for arms purchases.
In ordering the arrest, President Buhari observed that the actions of the erstwhile NSA brought the nation to international ridicule as the failure to procure the arms incapacitated the military in the face of the insurgency orchestrated by the Boko Haram sect.
The order was also extended to several others who were found culpable in the saga.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated that Dasuki expended $2,193,815,000.83 on arms, a figure he said did not include grants received by the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) from state governments.
Adesina wrote: “As part of the findings, the committee has analysed interventions from some organizations that provided funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, and Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, both in local and foreign currencies.
“So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is Six Hundred and Forty Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventeen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Five Hundred Naira and Eighteen Kobo (N643,817,955,885.18).
“The foreign currency component is to the tune of Two Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifteen Thousand US Dollars and Eighty Three Cents ($2,193,815,000.83).
“These amounts exclude grants from the state governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defence procurement.
“The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; Fifty Three (53) were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.
“Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East. “The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N3,850,000,000.00) were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the federal goverment.
“Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50, $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00. The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of four Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.
“Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, two companies were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71 and €9,905,477.00 alone. This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.”
“Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer the sum of $132,050,486.97 and €9,905,473.55 to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for un-ascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.
“The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition. Had the funds siphoned to these non-performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.
“Furthermore, the ridicule Nigeria has faced in the international community would have been avoided. It is worrisome and disappointing that those entrusted with the security of this great nation were busy using proxies to siphon the national treasury, while innocent lives were wasted daily.
“In light of these findings, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts.”


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