Reports have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari released the sum of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account to buy military ammunition and it was shared among the air force, the army, and the navy under the former service chiefs.
It was gathered that the $1billion released by Buhari was secretly approved by the National Assembly and shared with the military arms in 2019.
The administrations of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.), and Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas (retd.), received the funds but deliberately kept it from the public.
Recall that Buratai back in December 2018 while speaking to newsmen in Maiduguri, Borno State, had hinted that the money had been released but had not yet got to the army’s coffers.
“You know the process of funding is another major issue. The bureaucracy and so on is (are) another issue. Approvals are given but before you really get the money out is another challenge.
“So, the people are talking or the media have been talking of $1 billion that has been approved but I tell you up till today, the fund that is supposed to come from that amount to the army, in particular, is still in the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he had said.
A source in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation told SaharaReporters that about $900million had since been released to the military.
The source stated that the sum of $496million was released from the ECA to the air force for the purchase of Super Tucano aircraft from the United States. The aircraft were being expected in 2022.
Also, about $381million was released to the army and navy for the purchase of critical equipment.
“The military chiefs were asked not to state to the public how the money was spent or when it was received. But it came and the three arms of the military got their shares. In case there were mismanagements, the former chiefs should be held accountable because it was their administration. Nobody should be afraid of a probe if you spent the money appropriately,” another top source in the Defence Headquarters said.
Recall that BBC Hausa Service had earlier disclosed that the NSA, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno, during an interview hinted that the funds have gone missing.
He said, “No one knows what happened to the money, but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out where it went or where the goods went.”
The office of the National Security Adviser, however, stated that he was quoted of context “as he did not categorically say that funds meant for arms procurement were missing under the Former Service Chiefs as reported or transcribed by some media outlets from the BBC interview.”