$2.1bn arms scandal: Any military officer involved must face EFCC says DHQ

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The Director of Defence Information,DDI, Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, has warned military officers that anyone found to be involved in the ongoing probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on how $2.1 meant for procurement of arms by former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki,(rtd) was diverted to politicians will be made to face interrogation and prosecution.

Abubakar made the assertion while reacting to recent reports that a Colonel attached to Dasuki while in office had been implicated in the misappropriation of funds and revelations that the EFCC had written to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, to release some senior serving military officers linked to the arms scandal for interrogation.

The Colonel who was said to be in charge of the arms procurement is reported to have been in EFCC’s custody for over one week.

Speaking with Thisday, Abubakar said the military would release any officer found linked to the arms deal to face either the Presidential Arms Probe Committee or the anti-graft agencies.

Abubakar who stressed that the DHQ would not stand in the way of the law said: “I am not a member of the committee investigating the arms procurement. However, corruption is not a good thing for any country that hopes to develop and carry out fundamental duties of governance. It is a disease that requires the collective effort of good citizens to eradicate.

“The issue of arresting an officer involved, I don’t have such information, but I believe anybody, either soldier or civilian, found wanting can be invited by the committee because this is a national revival for the betterment of our nation.

“More so, no body is above the law. The military like any segment of the society operates within the law. So whoever acts outside the law must be held accountable to move our country forward.”

A source from the anti-graft agency who spoke with the newspaper disclosed that apart from the serving military officer, some senior military officers who were recently retired by President Muhammadu Buhari, have also been fingered in the arms deal.

“Apart from the serving military officers, some very senior retired military officers are also on the list of people to be interrogated by the EFCC and they have been invited.

“We understand some of them are outside the country right now. But we have delivered their letters of invitation to their contact addresses.

“As you are already aware, a senior military officer is being detained in connection with the arms deals. The officer in question was a technical aide in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in charge of procurement in the army,” the source said.

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