National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.), has said some funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the former service chiefs.
The former service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.); Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas (retd.); and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).
NSA, in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Friday, said: “No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went.”
The NSA added that the new service chiefs have not seen any of the arms that the funds were supposed to be used to procure.
The new service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O. Amao as Chief of Air Staff.
“We don’t know where the money went to. The president has given out some money for equipment but they are yet to arrive.
“The president has done his best by ensuring that he released exorbitant funds for the procurement of weapons which are yet to be procured, they are not there. Now the president has employed new hands that might come with new ideas. I am not saying that those that have retired have stolen the funds, no. But the funds might have been used in other ways unknown to anybody at present.
“Mr President is going to investigate those funds. As we are talking with you at present, the state governors, the Governors Forum have started raising questions in that direction. $1 billion has been released, that and that has been released, and nothing seem to be changing. So I assure you that the president will not take this lightly.
“The funds are nowhere to be found and the weapons have not been seen and the newly appointed service chiefs have declared that they have not seen the weapons. Maybe they are on the high seas, on their way coming from wherever they were purchased, from the US or Europe, but for now there is nothing on ground. I have not seen anything the service chiefs have also not seen anything,”Monguno said.
In 2018, Buhari approved the release of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgents.
But there have been complaints about lack of equipment and ammunition for the military that has been fighting the insurgency in the past 10 years.
The NSA, however, vowed that the military, headed by the new service chiefs has what it takes to crush the enemies of the Nigerian state without the help of mercenaries.