Armsgate: Treat All Culprits As Armed Robbers And Murderers –CACOL

Following the revelations arising from the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has insisted that corrupt public officers and all culprits in the arms deal should be treated as armed robbers and murderers and should be allowed to face capital punishment.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun a fresh investigation into a transfer of N6.7bn from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the Office of the National Security Adviser and two other agencies after the 2015 presidential election.

According to a document from the Office of the SGF, Special Services Office, other beneficiaries of the fund transfer were the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Mr. Ekpeyong Ita; and an agency simply referred to as MEA Research Library. It stated that N3.1bn was transferred to the account of the DSS; MEA Research Library, N2.6bn, and the ONSA, N216.8m.

According to a staff Officer, Accountant 1 in the ONSA, Yazidu Ibrahim in the statement of witness made to the EFCC, he stated that under the former NSA, contracts were awarded without the input or approval of the tenders’ board and procurement unit. Bafarawa a former governor of Sokoto State, has also since confessed to receiving N100m.

Meanwhile, Bode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, who was accused in the arms deal has denied receiving N100m from the former Minister of State for Finance, Yuguda, but admitted that he received $30,000.

Another surprising development to the arms deal is the N120m given to the President of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Nduka Obaigbena, by the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

It would be recalled that CACOL had recently called on Nigerian authorities to thoroughly investigate allegations that over $2.1 billion meant for defence equipment were mismanaged by several people and said that those found culpable should be severely punished.

With all the allegations and new revelations, Comrade Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) in his reactions has berated all the culprits involved especially the members of the NPAN that collected the N120m compensation. He said lamented that money meant for securing the country and citizens was distributed like an honorarium.

“We say our security agencies have no writing materials, no computers, no uniforms, no vehicles, barracks, no lecture halls, no weapons, guns etc yet those who are supposed to make the system work well are busy distributing monies among themselves for political campaigns and compensations. Our wish is that the president would treat these people like robbers and murderers and make them face the heavy punishments”, he said.

While expressing his disappointment on the media involvement, the anti-corruption crusader averred that the development is worse than being a mess.

“When notable media houses in our country decided to get into tie with the government and loot the treasury, what solace is there for the ordinary citizens who crave a fair and just society?

Those who have stolen from and looted the national treasury have no rights to be protected by anyone or by any known law of the nation. If they deemed it good to steal, why should any law of the land protect those who raped it and short-changed the nation? These people are worse than the common armed robbers and murderers”, Adeniran said.

The group, however, called on the Buhari administration to begin the prosecution of those who had been found culpable of corrupt practices in connection with the alleged stealing and diversion of monies meant to prosecute war against insurgency.

“We believe these revelations which are just the tip of the iceberg, are mind-boggling and justify as well as reinforce our call for heavy punishment in cases of those found culpable and for all corruption in public office. The corrupt act had sent so many soldiers and innocent Nigerians to their early grave, so it would be unjustifiable to allow those who engaged in the acts to go without punishment”.

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