Army pro­cure­ment scan­dal Ihe­jirika, Min­imah, Aji, oth­ers for fur­ther probe

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Lat­i­fat Opoola

Two for­mer Chiefs of Army Staff, re­tired Lt.Gen­er­als O.A. Ihe­jirika and K.T.J. Min­imah as well as a for­mer Min­is­ter of State for For­eign Af­fairs II, Dr Nu­rudeen Mo­hammed have been rec­om­mended for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion in con­nec­tion with the multi-bil­lion naira de­fence con­tract scan­dal.

Oth­ers to be so in­ves­ti­gated are three for­mer Per­ma­nent Sec­re­taries, Min­istry of De­fence namely Mr. Bukar Goni Aji, Mr. Haruna Sanusi and Me. E. O, Oye­momi.

The rec­om­men­da­tion was made by the com­mit­tee charged with in­ves­ti­gat­ing the De­fence Equip­ment Pro­cure­ment from 2007 to 2015, and ac­cepted by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

The rec­om­men­da­tion was an­nounced last night in state­ment by the Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Cul­ture, Se­gun Adeyemi.

It said the com­mit­tee found a num­ber of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the con­tract awards.

It said the ac­tion fol­lowed the Third In­terim Re­port of the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee on the Au­dit of De­fence Equip­ment, which was re­leased yes­ter­day.

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 in­volved in the pro­cure­ment.

The re­port said all of them were ei­ther ac­count­ing of­fi­cers or played key roles in the Nige­rian Army pro­cure­ment ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view.

The CEOs to be in­ves­ti­gated in­clude Col. Olu Bamg­bose (Rtd) of Bamverde Ltd; Mr. Amity Sade of Doiy­atec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Ser­vices and Mr. Ed­ward Churchill of West­gate Global Trust Ltd.

Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mit­tee, the to­tal amount spent for pro­cure­ment and op­er­a­tions within the pe­riod were N185.8 bil­lion and $685.35 mil­lion.

The com­mit­tee note that the Nige­rian Army con­tracts awarded by the Min­istry of De­fence dur­ing the pe­riod were of­ten awarded with­out ‘’sig­nif­i­cant in­put from end-user (Nige­rian Army) and to ven­dors who lacked the nec­es­sary tech­ni­cal com­pe­tence.’’

‘‘As an ex­am­ple, 3 con­tracts with a to­tal value of N5.94 bil­lion 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 2 com­pa­nies col­lected N5.103 bil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing 86% of the to­tal value of the 3 con­tracts worth N5,94 bil­lion , but only per­formed to the tune of N2.992 bil­lion, ‘’ the re­port said.

The com­mit­tee also found that a con­tract worth N169.9 mil­lion for the pro­cure­ment of 53 ar­moured ve­hi­cles spare parts, with 90-day com­ple­tion time, is yet to be com­pleted five years after.

With re­spect to con­tracts awarded di­rectly by the Nige­rian 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 2 com­pa­nies ex­clu­sively pro­cured var­i­ous types of Toy­ota and Mit­subishi ve­hi­cles worth over N3,000,000,000.0 for the Nige­rian 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 2 com­pa­nies showed trans­fers to in­di­vid­u­als re­lated to then Chief of Army Staff,’’ the re­port said

The com­mit­tee was headed by AVM Jon Ode (Rtd).

Find be­low the list of in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies that were ac­count­ing of­fi­cers or played key roles in the Nige­rian Army pro­cure­ment ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view:

Photo: Macjohn Akande

From left: House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives mem­bers Mark Gbil­lah (APC, Benue); Sa­muel Ikon (PDP Akwa Ibom) and Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi) ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct in the United States of Amer­ica, dur­ing an in­ves­tiga­tive hear­ing at the Na­tional Assem­bly in Abuja yes­ter­day. See story on page 3>>>

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