Sambo Dasuki, the former NAtional Security Adviser (NSA) Wednesday denied allegations of corrupt practices while in office, picking holes in the report of the audit committee on arms procurement.
President Mohammadu Buhari had on August 31 ordered the Office of the National Security Adviser to inaugurate a 13 man committee to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and the entire Defence sector from 2007 to date.
The committee which submitted its report to the President on Tuesday made startling revelations and accused the former NSA who is currently standing trial, of wrongdoings while in office.
Dasuki in his official response punctured the committee’s findings against him and noted that the allegations were theatrical, alleging that the Presidency fed the public with many allegations just to nail him.
“To draw sympathy, the presidency quoted some absurd findings including extra-budgetary interventions; award of fictitious contracts; 53 failed contracts; payment for jobs without contractual agreements; non-execution of contracts for the purchase of 4 Alpha jets, bombs and ammunition.
He picked holes in the statement from the presidency to the media labeling it propaganda to cast aspersions on his person.
“To set the records straight, Nigerians should appreciate that the AVM Jon Ode-led panel did not invite the ex-NSA under any guise before arriving at its ambiguous findings. At least, fairness demands that the panel ought to hear from Dasuki instead of its recourse to hasty conclusions. If the panel had been more patient and painstaking, it would have been availed of all relevant documents on some of the jaundiced findings”.
Dasuki who assumed office on June 22, 2012 said it was wrong to accuse him of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015.
“As if acting a script, the Presidency alleged that the Panel accused Dasuki of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015. Contrary to this claim, Dasuki was not the NSA in March 2012 and he could not have awarded any contract in whatever name. The ex-NSA was appointed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012”.
He said all contracts and accruing payments were with the approval of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces pointing out that he paid after the ex-President approved.
“Nigerians should note that all the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced for suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment”.
“For sensitive sectors (military/security), there was no room for awarding fictitious contracts. The conclusions of the panel were presumptive, baseless and lacked diligence” he said.
“There were no fictitious contracts; contract sums were not diverted and the relevant services in writing acknowledged delivery of equipment. For all procurements, the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and the Nigerian Navy have their contractors”.
While Dasuki awaited judicial process on the allegations, he however described as laughable, the assumption that four Alpha jets and 12 helicopters were undelivered.
“In a memo to the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA), referenced NAF/905/D/CAS of November 28, 2014, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Adesola Amosu acknowledged the receipt of the 4 Alpha jets attack aircraft and the helicopters”.
“On 10/21/14, the Chief of Air Staff also confirmed the receipt of F-7 N1 aircraft combination of 250kg bombs and accessories at $2,894,000 with the cost of freight at $1,200,000. The same Air Force confirmed getting 2xTri Shield 36DG Tactical radars”.
“In another letter of December 1, 2014 signed by L.S. Alao(on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff), the Air Force said it received five containerized fuel storage and dispensing units with equipment”.
“The Nigerian Army wrote the ONSA to acknowledge the delivery of 14 armoured tanks. In a December 13, 2014 memo, the Brigade of Guards thanked ONSA for releasing N30m for RCA, Operation allowance for Troops on Op Urban Sweep II for third and fourth quarters of 2014. This is apart from the installation of CCT Cameras at the Brigade Headquarters, 2 backscatter bomb detection vans and other equipment”.
“On November 26, 2014, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh sought for approval of the award of one pair of uniform(in the interim) for the Armed Forces at N165, 375 to El-Jahab Mubarak Nigeria and N330,750,000 for two pairs”.
While he said he has some of the acknowledgment letters submitted by the end-users(the services) he however said ” it is not for me to go and find out whether the equipment were delivered or not. I am not the one keeping the inventories”.
“To show that I have nothing to hide, I submitted a comprehensive list of all requests for procurements by the services, the items bought and those equipment being awaited to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari long before I left office. If there were issues, I should have been questioned. I was just the clearing house, I did not award contracts to my company or proxies. There was no contract awarded or equipment bought without approval from the then President and Commander-In-Chief. I am not a thief or treasury looter as being portrayed”, he concluded.