Former President Goodluck Jonathan will have a case to answer over fraudulent defence spendings running into over N300 billion during his tenure, according to recent revelations.
This is despite the grandstanding by the former leader at an event at the US National Democratic Institute, where he denied ever approving defence spending to the tune of $2 billion for former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, now under intense probe by a panel set up the Muhammadu Buhari presidency.
President Muhammadu Buhari had set up the panel to probe defence spendings between 2007 and 2015. What was turned up as interim report was shocking about the scale of looting by the National Security adviser.
Here is an excerpt from the report: “As part of the findings, the committee has analyzed interventions from some organizations that provided funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Army Headquarters Naval Headquarters and Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, both in local and foreign currencies.
“So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is N643, 817,955,885.18. The foreign currency component is to the tune of $2,193,815,000.83.
“These amounts exclude grants from the State Governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defense procurement.
“The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2, 189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; Fifty Three (53) were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13, 729,342,329.87 respectively.
“Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.
“The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of N3, 850,000,000.00 were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the FGN.
“Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2, 219,188,609.50, $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00. The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.
(Read More here: Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, 2 companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350, 000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71
In responses to the damning report, Sambo has denied any wrong doing, saying that the arms on which money was spent were bought and that no fraud has been committed.
Former President Jonathan’s reaction was simply dismissive of the charge: “I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons. Where did the money come from? I did not award a contract of $2billion for procurement of weapons,” he said at the gathering which was co-hosted by theNational Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
However, the Online news portal, The Cable in a new twist has reported that the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, actually received an extra-budgetary allocation of $2.1 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) within nine months after approvals by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
TheCable quoting from documents gave a breakdown of NNPC’s disbursements to the office of the NSA as follows: $1 billion on March 27, 2014; $200 million on April 9, 2014; $600 million on May 5, 2014; and, same day, $200 million following a request for $250 million.
“The documents also showed that on January 12, 2015, he got $100 million, bringing the total amount his office received from the NNPC to $2.1 billion within the nine months. All these were outside the statutory budgetary allocations to security during the same period, in addition to another $1 billion loan secured by the Jonathan administration to fight Boko Haram. ”
According to TheCable Jonathan approved all the disbursements by NNPC, with his senior special assistant on administrative matters, Matt Aikhionbere, writing the covering letters conveying presidential consent to the corporation after the president had minuted on Dasuki’s requests.
“Jonathan further approved that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should give Dasuki N40 billion following another extra-budgetary request. This was after the removal of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the central bank governor in 2014. Dasuki had written to the then acting governor, Sarah Alade, requesting for N60 billion, but she did not act on the request, reportedly because the president was not copied and there was no presidential approval.
“Following the appointment of Godwin Emefiele as governor in June 2014, Dasuki re-presented his request but Emefiele too did not act on it because of procedural concerns. However, Dasuki sent another request, this time copying Jonathan, who — TheCable understands — now sat the two men together and instructed that the bank should give N40 billion to Dasuki and another N20 billion to the Department of State Services (DSS), although there was no prior request from the department.
“It is believed in security circles that the N20 billion went to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former president’s party, apparently to finance the 2015 electioneering.”(Read more of The Cable report here: the N20 billion went to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
TheNEWS however learnt that the entire N60 billion was sent to Jonathan for his failed bid to seek re-election as president of Nigeria.