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Monguno: Money for arms missing under Buhari’s service chiefs

Author:
Femi Owolabi

Babagana Monguno, national security adviser (NSA), says funds for arms purchase were missing under former service chiefs.

In January, President Muhammadu Buhari replaced Gabriel Olonisakin, Tukur Buratai, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Sadique Abubakar respectively as chiefs of defence, army, navy and air force.

Lucky Irabor took over as chief of defence staff; Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff; Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff; and Isiaka Amao, chief of air staff.

In a BBC interview on Friday, Monguno said the new service chiefs did not meet the money approved for arms purchase when they assumed office.

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“We don’t know where the money went to. The president has given out some money for equipment but they are yet to arrive,” he said.

“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.

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“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 added that the matter is being investigated.

In 2018, Buhari approved the release of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

There have, however, been complaints about lack of equipment and ammunition for the military that has been fighting the insurgency in the past 10 years.

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