As the investigation on the recent arms procurement scandals unfolds, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has discovered N17.5 billion in the accounts of wives of three Airforce chiefs. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that the monies were scattered in various banks accounts.
It was learnt that huge amount of money has also been traced to the accounts of children of some indicted serving and retired military officers.
A source familiar with the investigation told New Telegraph that N13 billion was traced to the banks’ accounts of a wife of a retired Air Vice Marshal who held strategic position in the Nigeria Air Force (NAF). In the bank accounts of another wife of a retired service chief, N3 billion was found, while N1.5 billion was found in the bank accounts of a wife of a serving senior officer.
New Telegraph learnt that the officers handled the finance, budget and accounts of NAF. “You can’t believe the discoveries we have made so far.
We have traced monies to accounts of wives of three air force officers. So far, in the accounts of the wife of one of the officers indicted in the arms deal, N13 billion was found in different banks. In another instance, N3 billion was found in the accounts of a wife of a senior air force officer.
Also, in another account, N1.5 billion was found in the accounts of a wife of an Air Commodore who is not among the list of indicted military officers.
“The officers have been confronted with the bank statements and they have owned up to the ownership of the monies. There is no way they could deny ownership of the monies because of the sources and transactions.
The bank statements were enough proofs,” a source familiar with the investigation told New Telegraph. The source added that arrangements have been made for the officers “to sign off the N17.5 billion to government.”
According to him, there have been series of meetings between EFCC operatives and bank officials with the indicted officers in attendance wherein they have agreed to give the money to the Federal Government.
“The indicted officers confessed that the monies are proceeds from arms procurement, contract awards and other deals. They have agreed to part with the money. But that is not the end of the matter. Their trial will still go ahead,” the source said.
Also, it was learnt last night that the Abuja office of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo was raided by EFCC operatives. New Telegraph learnt that the office located on the sixth floor of British Embassy Building in the Central Business District in Abuja was raided on Saturday by EFCC operatives. A source close to the former vice president told New Telegraph that $50,000 and personal documents were taken away by the anti-graft agency.
The source added that Sambo’s lawyers have written EFCC demanding for explanation on the raid of his office without warrant. “We will take EFCC to court on this matter,” the source said.
Meanwhile, New Telegraph learnt that the EFCC, on Sunday, flew the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marsha Adeola Amosu; AVM JB Adigun, Chief of Account and Budget, NAF; and an Air Commodore in the Accounts and Finance Department of NAF to Lagos in furtherance of the investigation.
Adigun and the other air force officer were arrested penultimate week when Amosu was picked up in Abuja. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that the three of them were flown into Lagos in an air force aircraft on Sunday and discreetly kept in a hotel. It was learnt that the EFCC brought them to Lagos to help in sorting out some issues concerning the investigation.
“The anti-graft agency brought Amosu, Adigun and the other senior officer to Lagos on Sunday in an air force plane.
They were kept in a hotel. Their presence in Lagos is to ease investigation and authenticate some of the assets traced to them. Some officials of some institutions will be present at a meeting with EFCC operatives where issues concerning some of the assets traced to them will be sorted out and probably handed over to the Federal Government,” an influential source said.
Amosu, Adigun and the other officer are being investigated over 10 NAF contracts totalling $930,500,690 awarded to Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux (SEI) Nig. Ltd. between January 2014 and February 2015.
The award letters, according to the arms probe panel, contained misleading delivery dates, suggesting fraudulent intent in the award process.
Operatives are also grilling the ex-chief of army staff and the two senior officers over the procurement of two used Mi-24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi- 35M series at the cost of $136,944,000. The helicopters were discovered to be excessively priced and not operationally airworthy at the time of delivery.
The arms probe panel established that a brand new unit of Mi-24V Helicopter goes for about $30 million. The helicopters were delivered without rotor blades and upgrade accessories. The trio is also being grilled over the procurement of four used Alpha- Jets for the NAF at the cost of $7,180,000.
Whereas NAF paid for four used Alpha-Jets, the panel confirmed that only two of the Alpha-Jet aircraft were ferried to Nigeria after cannibalisation of engines from the NAF fleet. This is contrary to the written assertion of Amosu to the former Na-tional Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki that all the four procured Alpha-Jets aircraft were delivered to NAF.
They are also being investigated in the procurement of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar for NAF, which was awarded to GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd in April 2014 at the cost of $33 million under his watch.
The arms panel averred that the radars were excessively priced as a complete set of such radars goes for $6 million. As officers once responsible for financial matters of NAF, they are expected to shed light on the $3.3 million fraudulently included in the contract agreement as VAT and withholding tax and subsequently paid into the bank accounts of Spacewebs Interservices Ltd and Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd.
It was established that $2 million from the proceeds was transferred to Mono Marine Corporation Nig. Ltd, which is jointly owned by some principal characters in the deal. Acting on the recommendations made by the 13-man presidential committee auditing arms procurement between 2007 and 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the EFCC to conduct further investigation on the indictment of Amosu, former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd); Air Marshal MD Umar (Rtd), Maj- Gen. ER Chioba (Rtd), AVM IA Balogun (Rtd), AVM AG Tsakr (Rtd), AVM AG Idowu (Rtd), AVM AM Mamu, AVM OT Oguntoyinbo, and AVM T Omenyi.
Others were: AVM JB Adigun, AVM RA Ojuawo, AVM JA Kayode-Beckley, Air Cdre SA Yushau (Rtd), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi, Air Cdre GMD Gwani, Air Cdre SO Makinde, Air Cdre AY Lassa, Col. N Ashinze and Lt Col. MS Dasuki (Rtd).
Also, it was learnt last night that the Abuja office of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo was raided by EFCC operatives. New Telegraph learnt that the office, located on the sixth floor of British Embassy Building in the Central Business District in Abuja, was raided on Saturday by EFCC operatives.
A source close to the former vice president told New Telegraph that $50,000 and personal documents were taken away by the anti-graft agency.
The source added that Sambo’s lawyers have written the EFCC demanding an explanation on the raid of his office without warrant. “We will take EFCC to court on this matter,” the source said.
More to come as same Operatives raid ex-VP Sambo’s residence, cart away $50,000. The story though still at developing stage.