Billions allotted for buying of arms under Buhari missing

NSA Monguno says, Billions allotted for buying of arms under Buhari missing

•No money, No arms.

Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria

March 12, 2021

Babagana Monguno, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), has disclosed that whooping amount of money worth billions of Naira meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition under the past service chiefs were diverted.

The National Security Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari made the horrendous revelation in a BBC Hausa interview on Friday.

This terrible revelation emerged just more than one month after President Muhammadu Buhari substituted the service chiefs led by the former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin.

Others were Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, Abubakar Sadique, Chief of Air Staff, and Ibok Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff. The service chiefs were replaced on January 26, this year.

The former service chiefs were recently rewarded with ambassadorial appointments by the President. The Nigerian Upper Legislative Chamber (Senate), has since cleared them despite the countless number of petitions against their appointments.

In what rather appeared to be amazing, Babagana Monguno, a retired Major General, disclosed that neither the money meant for the arms nor the arms itself were available to the new service chiefs upon resumption.

The NSA said he was not accusing the former service chiefs, but insisted that nobody has information about the whereabouts of the money or what it was used for.

He said, “Now that he (President Buhari) has brought new people (service chiefs), hopefully, they will devise some ways… I’m not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now.

“The president will surely probe this matter. As we speak, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum is also wondering where all the money went. I can assure you the president takes issues of this nature seriously.

“The fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found.

“When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did not see anything on the ground,” Monguno stated.

The National Security Adviser and the immediate past Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, in February last year, had a serious disagreement when the former security chief took sides with Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff, to degrade the person of the NSA.

Buratai ordered the lifting and withdrawal of top military officers attached to the Office of the NSA without replacements.

Monguno was out from the country at the time when 23 soldiers serving under the Office of the NSA were outposted without being replaced in two batches on February 4 and 10. 

The NSA rejected the entire exercise as a facade upon his return and ordered the personnel to ignore Buratai’s directives and remain where they are.

Buratai thereafter disregarded the NSA and refuted to change his decision by redeploying securities attached to the scene.