Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, has been asked to extend its ongoing probe to the offices of the National Security Adviser, NSA, occupied by Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd.) and the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Muhammad Dan-Ali (retd.).
The Nigeria Concerned Citizen Assembly (NCCA), made this request in a letter written to the DSS on June 27, 2016, and obtained by Vanguard.
This came following the arrest of a member of the Presidential Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement, Air Commodore Umar Muhammed (retd.) by the DSS.
According to the group, the arrested committee member allegedly indicted both men as key influence in the syndicate.
In its letter to the Director-General, DSS, the CSO asked the secret police to dig deep into the case and ensure no stone is left unturned in bringing the culprits to book.
The letter signed by its Convener, Dr Abraham Odukoya, read in part: “It may interest you to know that Air Commodore Muhammed (rtd) owns a guest house valued at N3.2 Billion within the highbrow area of the FCT -Abuja where he plays host to the Minister of Defence who actually attained his present position due to the influence of Air Commodore Muhammed. This is a clear indication that the allegation that the duo are collaborators in crime and benefited from the arms procurement fraud may not be false after all.”
It also warned that the sincerity of the agency in carrying out the investigation would be a test of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s to its campaign promise to tackle corruption.
The group which said the DSS could be on the verge of making history in the anti-corruption war given the calibre of those it is currently investigating, has raised concerns that the ONSA and Minister of Defence are already using their clout and connections to block the investigation after the level of their involvement was revealed.
NCCA expressed concerns that “highly placed individuals” are out to scuttle the investigation given the concerted efforts they have been making in this regard since the arrest of Air Commodore Muhammed (rtd).
The group which backed the arrests made by the DSS insisted that the agency must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.
“We are poised now more than ever before to kill this notion that high and mighty persons are above the law and cannot be touched even when they commit heinous crimes.
“We at NCCA are solidly behind you and call on you and the entire leadership of the DSS to continue to distinguish yourselves by ensuring that you get to the bottom of this arms procurement fraud in such a manner that no person, no matter how highly placed, is left off the hook,” it demanded.
The assembly warned that those involved in the fraud could constitute the greatest security threat to the nation if they are allowed to walk the country free with the proceeds of their crime.
“The security implication of allowing those who have looted such huge amount on of money hang around freely and perhaps even use the monies to influence decisions in Nigeria is best analysed by your office,” the letter declared.