The Special Investigative Panel on arms procurement have indicted two former Chiefs of Army Staff and 14 serving officers of the army in its investigation of arms contracts for the military, The Nation reports.
Following the panel’s findings, indications emerged last night that the appropriate government agencies might have placed restriction on the accounts of immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar (2010 -2012) and the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, over alleged fraudulent arms purchases for the Air Force between 2007 and 2015.
The second leg of investigation of procurement deals in the army has already been concluded, The Nation reports, citing “highly placed sources.
A source told The Nation yesterday that this aspect of investigation “traced some deals to two ex-Chiefs of Army Staff and 14 others.”
“The recommendations on these serving and retired officers have been referred to the presidency. One of the officers even diverted arms funds for political purposes.
“So, what we did was just to wrap up the report on the sleaze in the Nigerian Air Force for consideration by the Presidency. We are doing it in batches.”
Other sources said that a restriction order had been placed on the accounts of ex-CDS Badeh and the 17 other retired and serving officers facing interrogation.
Some of those affected are the most senior Air Force officer, AVM A. M. Mamu(the Chief of Administration); AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo (former Director of Production, Defence Headquarters); AVM R.A. Ojuawo (Air Officer Tactical Air Command, Makurdi); AVM J.B. Adigun(former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF); AVM JA Kayode-Beckley(Director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre); AVM T Omenyi (MD, NAF Holdings); four top officers at the Defence Headquarters(DHQ), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi; Air Cdre GMD Gwani; Air Cdre SO Makinde; Air Cdre AY Lassa and Col. N. Ashinze , who was the Special Military Assistant to the ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
“As part of the investigation of these officers, some of their properties have been identified. These houses will be attached under the Assets Forfeiture Clause in the EFCC Act pending the conclusion of probe into their alleged involvement in the arms deals,” The Nation quoted another source to have said.
“This is a normal step in any high-profile investigation like the one at hand.”
A highly-placed military source said: “The handover of these officers to EFCC is a personal matter, not a service issue. “For instance, a top military officer has been in EFCC detention since December 23, 2005 and there were issues that the Nigerian Army has not sent any officer to him.
“The truth is that there was no way the Army can intervene on his behalf because of the issues at stake. The officer has been claiming that nothing was found against him but we will leave that to the EFCC and eventually the court.
“All these officers are certainly on their own. They have to bear individual cross to clear their names.”