Accused of stealing billions: Why former National Security Adviser, Colonel Dasuki, was arrested

A committee, set up by the office of the National Security Adviser on the 31st of August 2015, to audit the procurement of arms and equipment for the Armed Forces from 2007 till date, released its report (albeit not a final one) to President Buhari yesterday. The report uncovered several illegal and fraudulent deals apparently carried out by Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the immediate former National Security Adviser. This report implicated him and other officials involved.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki is a retired Nigerian Army colonel. The 64 year old is the first son of a former Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki. He was actively involved in two separate coup d’etats in the 80’s; the first, which installed present President Buhari as military ruler in 1983, while the second one deposed Buhari in 1985. This arrest has been seen in some quarters as a witch hunt, while foreign media has hailed Buhari for showing that he’s taking corruption in Nigeria gravely.

Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, made details of the report known through the official twitter account of the office of the president. He said 513 contracts were awarded between 2007 till date by the office of the National Security Adviser, worth $8.35bn, N2.189trn and€54,000. 53 of these contracts failed, with a loss of $2.37bn and N13.72bn respectively. The committee discovered that Sambo Dasuki made payments worth N3.85bn to a company without a signed contract. Dansuki also directed Nigeria’s Central Bank to pay $132m and €9.9 million to the Societe D’equipment Internationaux, a company based in Abuja, without contract documents.

The report noted that assertions by Colonel Dasuki that he purchased  four Alpha jets, 12 Helicopters and other ammunition were lies. The amount of foreign currency spent during this time was greater than the $1bn loan Nigeria’s National Assembly approved for the Nigerian Army last year. President Buhari yesterday ordered that the people found to be guilty through this report be arrested immediately. Prior to yesterday’s arrest, Sambo Dasuki had been placed on house arrest since he was dismissed as NSA by President Buhari after his inauguration. The presidency has stated that Dasuki’s stole funds that were pledged for the fight against Boko Haram.

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