• FG tightens security around ex-COAS
By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi and Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Armed Forces (2007-2015) has recommended investigation of two former Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika and Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah; a former minister of state for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed and three former permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Defence – Mr. Bukar Goni Aji, Mr. Haruna Sanusi and Me. E.O, Oyemomi for corrupt practices.
They were indicted by the committee set up to investigate procurement of arms to fight insurgency in the North East.
The committee, in its report, said N381 billion was expended without any procurement to show for the expensiture.
Daily Sun exclusively reported last week that a second interim report was submitted to the president last Monday.
The third interim report was submitted yesterday.
In the Air Vice Marshall Jon Ode (retd) committee report, it was discovered that a contract worth N169,916,849.77 for the procurement of 53 Armoured Vehicles Spare Parts, which had 90 days completion time, is yet to be completed, five years after.
Besides, in its investigation, the committee said it discovered that the total amount spent for procurement and operations between 2007-2015 were N185,843,052,564.30 and $685,349,692.49.
The committee also said in its report that most of the procurement lacked due process.
On the heels of the committee’s recommendation, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved further investigation of those involved, after the committee found a number of irregularities in the contract awards.
Among those to be investigated are 18 serving and retired military personnel, 12 serving and retired public officials and 24 Chief Executive Officers of companies (CEOs) involved in the procurement.
All were either accounting officers or played key roles in the Nigerian Army procurement activities during the period under review.
Those listed, according to the committee, for further investigation include Ihejirika, and Minimah; Mohammed and three former permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Defence – Mr. Bukar Goni Aji, Mr. Haruna Sanusi and Me. E.O, Oyemomi.
Also, CEOs to be investigated include Col. Olu Bamgbose (retd) of Bamverde Ltd; Mr. Amity Sade of Doiyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services and Mr. Edward Churchill of Westgate Global Trust Ltd.
The committee found that the army contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence for the period under review were often awarded without “significant input from end-user (Nigerian Army) and to vendors who lacked the necessary technical competence.”
‘’As an example, three contracts, with a total value of N5,940,000,000.00 were awarded to DYI Global Services Ltd and Doiyatec Comms Nig. Ltd (owned by the same individuals) for the procurement of military hardware including 20 units of KM-38 Twin Hull Boats and 6 Units of 4X4 Ambulances fitted with radios.
The committee found that the two companies collected N5,103,500,000.00, representing 86% of the total value of the 3 contracts worth N5,940,000,000.00, but only performed to the tune of N2,992,183,705.31,’’ the report said.
With respect to contracts awarded directly by the Army, the committee found that many of the contracts were characterised by ‘’lack of due process, in breach of extant procurement regulations and tainted by corrupt practices.
‘’In this regard, a review of the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the two companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N3,000,000,000.0 for the army without any competitive bidding.
“Though the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics.
Also, analysis of the various bank accounts of the two companies showed transfers to individuals related to then Chief of Army Staff,’’ the report indicated.
Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered yesterday night that Ihejirika and Minimah may have been placed under tight security watch.
A security source told Daily Sun last night that, “with the report finally out, the two ex-COAS may be picked up by security agencies any moment from now.
“From now on, there will be a restriction of their movement.
“What this means is that they will no longer enjoy freedom of movement as the relevant security agencies have been directed to lay surveillance on them, to ensure they don’t travel out of the country or go out of the country without authorisation.”
Another source further added that, “they would be made the face the law.”