Probe widened into Nigerian military procurement wrongdoing

Army personnel including two former chief of staff, government officials and company CEOs are to be investigated in Nigeria in connection with army procurement activities that were allegedly “tainted with corrupt practices”.

According to Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, 18 serving or retired military personnel and 12 public officials, as well as 24 company CEOs, will be investigated in connection with a range of procurement deals.

The list also includes former minister of state for foreign affairs, Nurudeen Mohammed, and former permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Defence, Bukar Goni Aji, Haruna Sanusi and E.O. Oyemomi.

Among the CEOs to be probed are Colonel (retired) Olu Bamgbose of Bamverde, Amity Sade, of Doiyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services, and Edward Churchill, of Westgate Global Trust.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who announced an investigation earlier this year, has approved the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment to continue investigations related to a series of suspected offences between 2007 and 2015. 

According to the committee, the total amount spent on procurement and operations in that period was $685m.

The committee found that Nigerian Army contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence in that period were often awarded without ''significant input” from the Army and they went to vendors who lacked “necessary technical competence”.

One contract for the procurement of spare parts for 53 armoured vehicles, which was supposed to be fulfilled within 90 days, is yet to be completed five years after it was signed.

The committee found that many of the contracts awarded directly by the Nigerian Army were characterised by “lack of due process, in breach of extant procurement regulations and tainted by corrupt practices”.

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