Indications emerged last night that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has received a new lead on how some of the indicted top serving and retired military officers helped themselves to the funds meant for the procurement of arms and munitions for the military to confront Boko Haram insurgency.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, gave the EFCC the go-ahead to prosecute many top military officers and companies indicted by a Presidential audit committee on the procurement of arms for the armed forces between 2007 and 2015.
Prominent among 18 serving and retired military officers mentioned in the panel report as having cases to answer were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd); former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (retd), and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu (retd).
Based on the recommendation of the audit panel, President Buhari also directed the EFCC to investigate 21 firms in connection with the monumental fraud, which value at the moment, has been put at over $2.1 billion.
It was learnt by Vanguard that the arrest and detention of a serving Colonel in the Nigerian Army in relation to the diversion of the funds meant for arms purchase in the Office of the National Security Adviser, exposed the illicit deals undertaken by the indicted officers.
The newspaper also learnt that the Delta State-born Colonel, whose identity has been kept under close wraps and served as a Personal Assistant to the embattled ex-NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), has been assisting EFCC investigators with all he knows about the arms deals and those who masterminded the looting of the nation’s treasury in the name of arms purchase.
It was on the strength of the revelations by the detained military officer and others, that the EFCC, last week, wrote to the Defence Headquarters to release the affected officers and their retired counterparts, for immediate questioning.