President Buhari has approved the investigation of Azubuike Ihejirika, and 53 others over N381 billion fraud.
The approval followed the Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on the audit of defence equipment, which was released on Thursday, July 14, 2016.
Those to be investigated are 18 serving and retired military personnel, 12 serving and retired public officials and 24 Chief Executive Officers of companies involved in the procurement which took place between 2007 and 2015.
Those listed for further investigation include two former Lt.-Gen. O.A. Ihejirika (Rtd) and Lt. Gen. K.T.J. Minimah (Rtd); former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed and three former Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Defence – Bukar Goni Aji, Haruna Sanusi and E.O Oyemomi.
The CEOs to be investigated include Col. Olu Bamgbose (Rtd) of Bamverde Ltd; Amity Sade of Dolyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services and Edward Churchill of Westgate Global Trust Ltd.
The total amount spent for procurement and operations within the period were N185,843,052,564.30 and $685,349,692.49.
The committee found that the Nigerian Army Contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence for the period under review were often awarded without ”significant input from end-user (Nigerian Army) and to vendors who lacked the necessary technical competence”.
”As an example, 3 contracts with a total value of N5,940,000,000.00 were awarded to DYI Global Services Ltd and Doiyatec Comms Nig. Ltd (owned by the same individuals) for the procurement of military hardware including 20 units of KM-38 Twin Hull Boats and 6 Units of 4X4 Ambulances fitted with radios.
"The committee found that the 2 companies collected N5,103,500,000.00, representing 86% of the total value of the 3 contracts worth N5,940,000,000.00, but only performed to the tune of N2,992,183,705.31."
A contract worth N169,916,849.77 for the procurement of 53 Armoured Vehicles Spare Parts, with 90 days completion time, is yet to be completed after five years.
Contracts awarded directly by the Nigerian Army were said to have lacked of due process, in breach of extant procurement regulations and tainted by corrupt practices.
”In this regard, a review of the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the 2 companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N3,000,000,000.0 for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding.
”Though the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics. Also, analysis of the various bank accounts of the 2 companies showed transfers to individuals related to then Chief of Army Staff,” the report said.