FG Must Probe Missing $1bn Arms Fund – Falana
A popular human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN has charged the Federal Government to launch an investigation into allegations that $1 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms for counter-insurgency operations cannot be traced.
He stated this in an interview with Vanguard while reacting to a claim by the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno made during a BBC Hausa interview.
Monguno said, “The president has made tremendous efforts to provide the huge funding but the arms were not procured, the arms were not enough. This is the reason why even though he brought in some new people (service chiefs), may be they will devise an alternative method, and I am not saying that those former service chiefs that retired have embezzled the money. This is not what I meant but maybe the money has gone through another means that I don’t know and nobody else knows right now.”
However, the office of the NSA later said that he was quoted out of context.
Reacting, Falana said that President Muhammadu Buhari ought to order a probe into the matter if the administration must convince Nigerians that it takes their safety seriously.
He said that FG must invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to handle the probe.
“With respect to the Armed Forces under the Buhari administration, apart from the annual budget of the Ministry of Defence, a special allocation is set aside for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the Armed Forces.
“The National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno did say last week that the equipment procured could not be located.
“Notwithstanding the denial later, if you read the transcribed version of the interview, you will agree with me that it was very clear that there was no basis for his denial or misinterpretation.
“In other words, the $1 billion appropriated for the procurement of arms and ammunition will have to be accounted for, otherwise, the commitment of the Federal Government to the security of the country will have to be questioned.
“It’s not enough to say that under the Buhari administration, money cannot be diverted. Money is being diverted on a daily basis by some unpatriotic elements.
“What I expect the government to do is to invite the EFCC to investigate what has been bought with the $1billion special allocation,” Falana said.