Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka when the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at his home in Lagos on January 9th, said that the current anti-corruption fight by the federal government has revealed an unprecedented level of corruption that has never been recorded in Nigeria before.
“We have not had a case where it had been alleged and increasingly proven that money supposed to be spent on defending ourselves, our nation, our neighbourhood, has been shared among individuals. We never had the experience where we were in a state of critical emergency where children are being kidnapped under our noses. Never had there been a situation where we are helpless and our soldiers are sent to the front to defend our very existence and we are not backing them up with conduct that shows integrity and commitment. Because of these reasons, corruption is really desperate and has chosen to fight back, but I am confident that corruption will be tackled,” Soyinka said.
This reaction from the Nobel Laureate would not be far-fetched from the recent anti-corruption arms deal with former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, which has had big names like Bashir Yuguda, Attahiru Bafarawa, Bode George, David Mark, Bukola Saraki, Aminu Baba Kusa, Shuaibu Salisu, Peter Odili, Salisu Usman Garu, Olu Falae and the mother of all names, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and some others mentioned.
The sum of $2.422 billion was allegedly either misappropriated or stolen by Sambo Dasuki and his accomplices; this sum comprises the money intended to be used to boost the national security: the $2.1 billion of the extra-budgetary arms purchase money, the transfer of $322 million of Abacha’s loot is also included. However, the figures may sound vague. The understanding of what this money would have done to the Nigerian security will help to elucidate the point better. According to different sources, $2.442 billion could have provided the Nigerian military forces with 751, 384 M762 automatic rifles, 4, 070, 000 AK-47 rifles, 2, 035 T-72 armoured tanks, 222 AH-1 Cobra helicopters, and 145 F-7NI bomber jets.
According to the 2013 record, the Nigerian army has the manpower strength of 162,000. Using this figure it can easily be calculated that if the missing money had been used to buy just M762 rifles, each soldier would have had four of such riffle, or 25 AK-47, if only AK-47 had been bought. N2.442 billion used to purchase T-72 armored tanks could have provided each of the six army divisions with the additional 339 tanks, and the air force could have had the additional 222 AH-1 Cobra choppers or 145 F-7NI bomber jets. This missing money could have comfortably built a new military infrastructure from scratch.
According to Sahara Reporters, a source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) revealed that the largess from Sambo Dasuki to these government officials was diverted from funds meant for the purchase of arms in order to better equip the Nigerian military in its campaign against Islamist terror group, Boko Haram.