According to Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), certain former military leaders are being investigated for fraud.
When he revealed it, Mr. Owasanoye was talking about how military commanders’ vast theft of security funding was fostering insecurity all throughout the nation.
“At face value, insecurity is seen to be, and is sometimes treated as a matter requiring only a military response or reaction, but an in-depth look into its possible root cause(s) shows that corruption is a major contributory factor to the continued existence and propagation of insecurity in the country,” Mr Owasanoye said at a “Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria” in Abuja on Friday.
Citing cases of massive looting of funds by military top brass, Mr Owasanoye said, “some former military and security personnel are being investigated by ICPC and our sister agency for embezzlement of funds allocated to security.”
“There are also ongoing investigations into military contract spending. Recently, ICPC arrested a military contractor that received over a period of less than 10 years, a cumulative sum of about N6 billion from the Nigerian Army in suspicious circumstances and in violation of extant legislation.
“The Commission’s recovery of huge cash sums in local and foreign currencies, luxury cars, customised mobile phones, designer watches, including three Rolexes, as well as property documents from the premises of the contractor underscores the corruption that often attends military procurement,” Mr Owasanoye added.
According to a Peoples Gazette article from June, ICPC agents searched an Abuja residence connected to former Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai. While verifying the finding of exotic chemicals from the operation, the anti-graft agency claimed the raid was directed at military contractor Kabiru Sallam.
Babagana Munguno, the National Security Adviser, said that service chiefs had misused monies intended for the procurement of weaponry last year.
Speaking further Mr Owasanoye said “a former head of one of the arms of the military in the twilight of his tenure deposited the sum of N4 billion from the military budget into the accounts of two companies where he is the beneficial owner and sole signatory.
“The proceeds were used to purchase properties in Abuja in the names of cronies and proxies. Some of the properties paid for by his service were also fraudulently converted to his use.
The ICPC Chairman claims that a recently retired High Court judge decided to forfeit some of the assets to FGN and leave the remaining to the suspect, frustrating the ICPC’s prosecution of this high-ranking officer to recover all the implicated assets in an odd and perverse manner.
The anti-graft chief claimed that despite the Commission having filed a notice of appeal, this peculiar event worsens an already dire circumstance and increases insecurity and impunity.