Arms deals: Former Army Chief loses his N4bn estate to EFCC

Arms deals: Former Army Chief loses his N4bn estate to EFCC

- As the $2.1 billion arms deals continues, an estate, allegedly valued at over N4 billion has been confiscated from former Chief of Army Staff

- The estate, located in Abuja has placed under Interim Asset Forfeiture by the EFCC

- Prior to the seizure, about N2 billion meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army, had been traced to the accounts of five children of the former Army chief

An estate, belonging to a former Chief of Army Staff has been reportedly seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The estate, allegedly valued at over N4 billion was confiscated on account of the ongoing probe of the ex-Army Chief over $2.1 billion arms deals.

The estate, which contains more than 30 duplexes built to taste, has been placed under Interim Asset Forfeiture, The Nation reports.

The estate is said to be located between Jabi and Life Camp in Abuja and EFCC ‘Keep Off’ sign has already been pasted on the estate.

About N2 billion meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army had earlier been traced to the accounts of five children of the former Army chief by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP).

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A reliable source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “The ex-Army Chief was referred to the EFCC based on the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment, headed by AVM JON Ode.

“We are still investigating the ex-Army Chief and he will soon be interrogated. But in line with our modus operandi, we have been able to trace his suspicious assets which we have attached under Interim Asset Forfeiture.

“In this case of the ex-Chief of Army Staff, his children and friends were used as fronts for money laundering.

“We have traced many suspicious accounts linked with the ex-Army boss. Most of these accounts have been frozen.

“Some of our operatives have been working on documents in the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) on evidence relating to these scandalous procurement deals.”

The source disclosed that “the estate under forfeiture is so massive and valued at about N4 billion.”

The presidential committee had submitted its third interim report to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Following its submission, 54 people were shortlisted to be probed. They include two ex-Army Chiefs, 16 retired and serving Army officers, 12 serving and retired public officers and 24 Chief Executive Officers of companies involved in the procurement of equipment.

The committee had established that the ex-Chief of Army Staff has a case to answer after it established that “between March 2011 and December 2013, 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.”

Also, the committee discovered that 42 units of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) which were rejected by Iraq were later sold to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

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The panel claimed that lives were lost as some of the APCs were either expired, lacked spares, prone to breakdown without immediate recovery equipment or unsuitable.

NAIJ.com earlier reported that the former COAS, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, was grilled for hours on Tuesday, June 20, by EFCC operatives.

According to the report, Minimah is being probed on the controversy surrounding the multi-billion naira arms procurement during his tenure. Minimah was Chief of Army Staff between January 16, 2014 and July 13, 2015.

The EFCC recently organised a march tagged ‘walk against corruption’ in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Watch in the NAIJ.com TV video below:

Source: Naij.com

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