JUMIA BLACK FRIDAY

$15bn arms deals: Panel traces N2bn to five children of ex-Army Chief


The Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP) has traced about N2billion meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army to the accounts of five children of a former Chief of Army Staff. The Nation reports that the report by the panel states that the children of the ex-Chief of Army Staff allegedly used two companies for the deal. Read it after the cut..

 “The committee reviewed the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd, two companies that shared the same registered office, had one name as common controlling shareholder and sole or mandatory signatory to the various banks accounts of the companies. The committee further established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the two companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N2, 000,000,000.00 for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding. Most of the contracts awarded to the companies were also split, awarded on the same date or within a short space of time at costs and mobilization higher than the prescribed thresholds. For instance, on February 13 and 15, the two companies were awarded contracts worth N260, 000.000.00 and N315, 000,000.00 respectively for supplies of various
vehicles. The Nigerian Army could not justify the exclusive selection of these vendors against other renowned distributors of same brands of vehicles procured. More seriously, the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles by the two companies as there were no receipt vouchers, but only unauthenticated delivery notes, invoices and waybills that were purportedly used for the deliveries. Nevertheless, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics, Maj Gen D.D. Kitchener (rtd). The payments were also made without deduction of Withholding Tax (WHT). Furthermore, analyses of the various bank accounts of the two companies showed transfers to individuals , some of who are believed to be children of the army chief. Thus, the committee recommends further investigation to determine delivery of the vehicles and relationship of funds beneficiaries with the former COAS and the two companies. Furthermore, the panel said that Lt Gen O. A. Ihejirika (rtd), Maj Gen D. D. Kitchener (rtd), Col A. M. Inuwa and Mr Chinedu Onyekwere should be held accountable for the issues arising out of the contracts.”
The panel during its findings discovered that contracts in the Nigerian Army were awarded without due process. It said a company was registered on November 17, 2014 and awarded $125,179,299.10 on the same day.
“The Nigerian Army, between April and August 2014, entered into four contract agreements with Societe D’Equipmenteux Internationale  (SEI Nig Ltd)  for procurement of Cobra Armoured Personnel Carriers, Shilka Self-Propelled Artillery Guns, Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) as well as various ammunition and spares funded by the ONSA. The contracts for the Cobra APCs and Shilka Guns were not executed as they were not funded. However, the costs for procurement of the AFVs; ammunition and spares were $398,550,000.00 and $484,765,000.00 respectively totalling $883,315,000.00. In November 2014, the ONSA awarded contract to Conella Services Limited for procurement of 72 various arms and ammunition that included MRAP vehicles, Mi-17 helicopter at the cost of $125,179,299.10. The committee observed that the company was registered in Nigeria on 17 November, 2014 and awarded the contract on the same date, while the EUC for the procurement was issued a day later on 18 November, 2014. Furthermore, the ONSA paid $36,996,530.00 and N2,209,582,296.00 to the vendor between November 2014 and 15 April, 2015.
 However, the Nigerian Army denied receipt of any procurement from Conella Services Ltd.
“Similarly, the committee tried in vain to reach officials of the company to confirm execution of the contract. There is, t

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