Ex-Nigerian military chiefs stole not less than $15billion through illegal arms acquisition deals.
This was according to a report titled, “Weaponising Transparency: Defence Procurement Reform as a Counterterrorism Strategy in Nigeria”
It disclosed that large sums equivalent to half of Nigeria’s foreign currency stocks were stolen.
Yesterday, a 19-page report by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International (TI) UK, was disclosed in Abuja. In the report, it stated that defence sector corruption has impaired Nigerian counterterrorism capacity and made the Boko Haram terrorists stronger.
The Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani and a Senior Legal Researcher at TI, Eva Marie Anderson, together, presented the report.
“Nigeria’s corrupt elites have profited from conflict; with oil prices at a record low, defence has provided new and lucrative opportunities for the country’s corrupt kleptocrats.”
“Defence sector corruption in Nigeria has enabled the political elite to accumulate and distribute political patronage. Longstanding military exceptionalism, meanwhile, has justified weak and compromised oversight of security-related spending and excessive secrecy,” the report said.
It also said that the most notable corruption opportunities are those utilized through increasing acquisition contract values and creating “phantom” defence contracts.
According to the report, security contracts were utilized as a vehicle for money laundering and facilitated via weak or corrupted Nigerian banks, with illegal financial flows hidden in properties in the UK, United States, South Africa and Dubai.
The report emphasized the case of a former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki rtd., who is currently facing a trial for allegedly mishandling funds that was meant for the weapons acquisition to engage in the Boko Haram war, as an example of how the country’s defence sector leaves room for abuse.
Reacting to the report, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) dismissed allegations of corruption directed against the Nigerian Military.
Major General John Enenche, Defence spokesman, said at a press conference in Abuja yesterday that the allegations in the TI report were not true.