The National Security Adviser to the President, Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd.), has said that the money meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs and an investigation was in the offing.
The ex-service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Unveiling the startling allegations, in an interview with BBC Hausa on Friday, Monguno said neither the money approved by the President for arms purchase nor the actual supplies were on ground when the new service chiefs took over.
“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,” Monguno told BBC.
Asked why the government was foot-dragging the fight against banditry, Monguno said the President had done his best by approving huge amounts of money for arms purchase but the equipment was not forthcoming.
“Now that he (President Buhari) has brought new people (service chiefs), hopefully they will device some ways… I’m not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now,” he said.
Asked whether the matter was investigated to trace the funds or the military hardware, the NSA said the President would investigate the matter.
Monguno said: “The President will surely probe this matter. As we speak, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum too is also wondering where all the money went. I can assure you the President takes issues of this nature seriously.
“The fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found.
“When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did not see anything on ground,” he said
In January, Buhari appointed new service chiefs after a persistent clamour from Nigerians that he should introduce fresh blood in the country’s anti-terror war, especially against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s North-East region.
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.