NIGERIA’S recently-replaced service chiefs have been accused of being unable to account for sums of money handed to them to purchase weapons for the armed forces by the national security adviser Retired Major General Babagana Monguno.
Last month, President Muhammadu Buhari retired Nigeria’s four service chiefs in chief of defence staff General Abayomi Olonisakin, chief of army staff Lt General Tukur Buratai, chief of naval staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas and chief of air staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. They were all immediately nominated for ambassadorial positions, amid speculation that this was protect them from human rights legal challenges.
International law protects diplomats from international criminal court prosecution and there had been suggestions that the four men could be indicted for the way Nigeria has conducted the war against terror in the northeast. In a further indictment of the service chiefs, General Monguno has revealed that funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war went missing under their leadership.
General Munguno told the BBC Hausa Service: “No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went.”
He added that the new service chiefs have not seen any of the arms that the funds were supposed to be used to procure. In addition, General Monguno also said that the Buhari-regime was not interested in dialogue with terrorists, bandits and other criminals as negotiation paints the government as weak and incapable.
General Munguno vowed that the military, headed by the new service chiefs has what it takes to crush the enemies of the Nigerian state without the help of mercenaries. General Lucky Irabor is the new chief of defence staff, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru is the new chief of army staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo the new chief of naval staff, while Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao is the new chief of air staff.