Two former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. O.A. Ihejirika (Rtd) and Lt.-Gen. K.T.J. Minimah (Rtd) have been indicted in a N381 billion fraud case.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the recommendation of the Committee charged with investigating the Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.
The committee after finding a number of irregularities in the awards of contracts had recommended further investigation of those involved.
The approval followed the Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment, which was released on Thursday.
Among those to be investigated are 18 serving and retired military personnel, 12 serving and retired public officials and 24 Chief Executive Officers of Companies involved in the procurement.
All those indicted were either accounting officers or played key roles in the Nigerian Army procurement activities during the period under review.
Ihejirika, 52 Others Indicted In Monumental Defense Contract Fraud
Those listed for further investigation include two former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. O.A. Ihejirika (Rtd) and Lt.-Gen. K.T.J. Minimah (Rtd); 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 Me. E.O, Oyemomi.
Also, the CEOs to be investigated include Col. Olu Bamgbose (Rtd) of Bamverde Ltd; Mr. Amity Sade of Dolyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services and Mr. Edward Churchill of Westgate Global Trust Ltd.
According to the Committee, the total amount spent for procurement and operations within the period were N185,843,052,564.30 and $685,349,692.49 respectively.
The investigating committee discovered that the Nigerian Army Contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence for the period under review were often awarded without “significant input from end-user (Nigerian Army) and to vendors who lacked the necessary technical competence”.
According to the report,
“…3 contracts with a total value of N5,940,000,000.00 were awarded to DYI Global Services Ltd and Doiyatec Comms Nig. Ltd (owned by the same individuals) for the procurement of military hardware including 20 units of KM-38 Twin Hull Boats and 6 Units of 4X4 Ambulances fitted with radios.
“The committee found that the 2 companies collected N5,103,500,000.00, representing 86% of the total value of the 3 contracts worth N5,940,000,000.00, but only performed to the tune of N2,992,183,705.31,”
The committee also found that a contract worth N169,916,849.77 for the procurement of 53 Armoured Vehicles Spare Parts, with 90 days completion time, is yet to be completed 5 years after.
With respect to contracts awarded directly by the Nigerian Army, the Committee found that many of the contracts were characterized by “lack of due process, in breach of extant procurement regulations and tainted by corrupt practices.”
Although the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics.
Also, analysis of the various bank accounts of the 2 companies showed transfers to individuals related to then Chief of Army Staff.