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21 Jun 2017

EFCC interrogates ex-Army Chief, Minimah over alleged $1.9bn arms procurement scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has grilled the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah (retd.), for about six hours.
Minimah was invited to explain how $1,891,809,299.1bn allocated for arms procurement for the army during his tenure was spent.
Minimah and his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), have been under investigation by the EFCC for over a year following a report issued by the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement.
Also to face EFCC inquisition on the arms procurement are 16 retired and serving army officers, 12 serving and retired public officers and 24 Chief Executive Officers of companies involved in the procurement of equipment.
All were either accounting officers or played key roles in the Nigerian Army procurement activities during the period under review.
Others indicted include a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed, and three former permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Defence – Mr. Bukar Goni Aji, Mr. Haruna Sanusi and E.O. Oyemomi.
Also, the CEOs to be investigated include Col. Olu Bamgbose (retd.) of Bamverde Ltd.; Mr. Amity Sade of Dolyatec Comms Ltd. and DYI Global Services and Mr. Edward Churchill of Westgate Global Trust Ltd.
It found that the Nigerian Army Contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence for the period under review were often awarded without significant input from the end-user (Nigerian Army) and to vendors who lacked the necessary technical competence.
The panel also fingered some relatives or children of Ihejirika identified as: Raymond Ihejirika, Nkechi Ihejirika, Ndubuisi Ihejirika, Orji Ihejirika, Kingsley Ihejirika and Naomi Onyeabor.
The committee further established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the two companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N2bn for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding.
However, the Nigerian Army could not justify the exclusive selection of these vendors against other renowned distributors of same brands of vehicles procured.
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Item Reviewed: EFCC interrogates ex-Army Chief, Minimah over alleged $1.9bn arms procurement scam Rating: 5 Reviewed By: LinkNaija