•EFCC to also investigate companies, individuals indicted by audit reports
•NAF bought two non recommended, non airworthy helicopters for $136,944,000.00 instead of $30m each
•Bought 4 used Alpha-Jets for NAF at $7,180,000.00, delivered only 2
•Between September 2009 and May 2015, NAF spent N15b on Alpha-Jets maintenance, paid over N4b for contract not executed
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
President Mohammadu Buhari on Friday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to carry out extensive investigation on the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu over their roles in the purchase of military hardware during their tenures. The directive also affected other retired and serving military officers totalling 15.
Such persons included Air Marshal MD Umar (Rtd), Maj- Gen. ER Chioba (Rtd), AVM IA Balogun (Rtd), AVM AG Tsakr (Rtd), AVM AG Idowu (Rtd), AVM AM Mamu, AVM OT Oguntoyinbo, AVM T Omenyi, AVM JB Adigun, AVM RA Ojuawo, AVM JA Kayode-Beckley, Air Cdre SA Yushau (Rtd), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi, Air Cdre GMD Gwani, Air Cdre SO Makinde, Air Cdre AY Lassa , Col N Ashinze and Lt Col. MS Dasuki (Rtd).
The investigation was sequel to the recommendation of the committee established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015 which indicated that there were shoddy deals that involved billions of Naira and United States Dollars. In a similar vein,
president Buhari also directed the anti-graft commission to investigate the roles of some officers, other individuals, companies and their directors said to have breached standard procedures associated with the procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
INDIVIDUALS TO BE PROBED
The order on the individuals also followed the submission of the audit committee’s second interim report. The parties included Messrs Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux, Himma Aboubakar, Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited, Messrs Syrius Technologies, Dr Theresa A. Ittu, Sky Experts Nig Ltd, Omenyi Ifeanyi Tony and Huzee Nig Ltd.
Others were GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd, Gbujie Peter Obie, Onuri Samuel Ugochukwu, Spacewebs Interservices Ltd, Oguntoyinbo Tayo, Oguntoyinbo Funmi, Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Chief Jacobs Bola, Mono Marine Corporation Nig Ltd, Geonel Intergrated Services Ltd, Sachi Felicia, Mudaki Polycarp and Wolfgang Reinl. According to a statement put forward on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, a number of alleged offenses were outlined by the investigating panel against the individuals and companies.
Such breaches as identified by the Audit Committee included “non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence to provisions of the Public Procurement Act.”
It added that “the procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterized by irregularities and fraud. In many cases, the procured items failed to meet the purposes they were procured for, especially the counter insurgency efforts in the North East.” The report further indicated that a major procurement activity undertaken by ONSA for NAF was that concerning the contracts awarded to Societe D’ Equipment Internationaux (SEI) Nig Ltd.
According to the report, “between January 2014 and February 2015, NAF awarded 10 contracts totalling Nine Hundred and Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety US Dollars ($930,500,690.00) to SEI Nig Ltd.” Astonishingly, “Letters of award and End User Certificates for all the contracts issued by NAF and ONSA respectively did not reflect the contract sums. Rather, these were only found in the vendor’s invoices, all dated 19 March 2015.” It added that “some of the award letters contained misleading delivery dates suggesting fraudulent intent in the award process. The observed discrepancies are in clear contravention of extant procurement regulations.”
According to Shehu’s statement, NAF arbitrarily bought non recommended helicopters at very exorbitant prices. Besides, the helicopters were not air worthy. “The SEI contracts included procurement of two used Mi-24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at the cost of One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Four Thousand US Dollars ($136,944,000.00). “However, it was confirmed that the helicopters were excessively