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$2 million arms probe: Concerned Nigerians want house of reps report on probe panel released
Some group of concerned Nigerians have demanded for an holistic probe into the activities of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.
They also want all those found culpable brought to book.
The convener of the group, Princess Ajibola at a press conference in Abuja today said as a civil society organisation that demands accountability from government to the governed, the group is sad with the Committee of Public Safety, National Security and Intelligence of the Federal House of Representatives for the way and manner it has handled the probe of the activities of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement, (CADEP) from 2007-2015.
“The Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria is desirous of the content of the probe by the House of Representatives to be made public in the overall interest of justice and fairness to all concerned.
“It is common knowledge that the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015 made a mess of the mandate given to them by President Muhammadu Buhari, it is however not enough to continue to shield them from public scrutiny as evident in the cold foot suddenly developed by the House of Representatives.
“At this point, the Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria wishes to educate the members of the House of Representatives that they were elected by the people to represent the interest of the people and not to protect the interest of a select few that do not have the interest of the people at heart through their actions and inactions”she said.
Ajibola said it is worthy of note to highlight that the mandate given to the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015 was primarily to bring to justice those that committed crimes against the Nigerian people by mismanaging billions of naira meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition to help in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
“To the dismay of all persons with a conscience, these individuals instead decided to cut deals and enrich themselves at the expense of the sacred mandate of unravelling the circumstances the lead to the mismanagement of public funds and also to recover same from these individuals and organizations.
“At this point, the Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria cannot fathom why the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety, National Security and Intelligence who indeed confessed in public that it was in possession of a series of petitions from members of the public and defence contractors who have complained about the activities of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.
“It was against this background that the House of Representatives launched a probe and indeed conducted a public hearing on the contentious issue, and only for them to suddenly go mute on the outcome of their inquiry.
“We must add that this sudden muteness indeed raised a flurry of questions that needed answers. The muteness also questioned the sincerity of purpose of the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety, National Security and Intelligence.
“It further fuelled the suspicion that indeed something was dangerously amiss in the polity as been speculated in some certain quarters. Some believed that monies must have exchanged hands. Some were also of the opinion that probably members of the House of Representatives Committee might have been intimidated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, under whose purview is the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.
“The Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria demands that justice be served in this sensitive matter of national importance in the interest of all and sundry.
“The Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria at this point and in the interest of our country demands that holistic probe into the arms fraud be instituted by the federal government, as well as the National Assembly”she said
She urged the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency institute a probe that would unravel as a first what happened with the earlier probe report of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety, National Security and Intelligence.
“The National Assembly must either make it public or institute a fresh probe with a clear mandate to reviewing the activities of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015 that has been entangled in controversies’ bordering underhand dealings, receiving gratifications and compromising the core mandate of the committee.
“The Civil Rights Movement of Nigeria believes that there should be no sacred cows in the war against corruption in Nigeria. Nobody should be favoured above others, especially in cases of economic sabotage.
“If the leadership of this great country is sincere about the war against corruption, then it must initiate this probe as a matter of urgency and bring to book all those that are found wanting in any way as no one should be seen to be above the law no matter how highly placed.
“The world is indeed watching Nigeria and expects that the right thing is done in this sensitive case. The relatives of the victims of the nefarious activities of these individuals and organizations are also watching to see how the government would protect their interest by serving justice to all”she concluded.