A sum of N2 billion has been allegedly traced to the accounts of the children of ex-Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence and Equipment (CADEP).
According to reports, the fund was part of the funds meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army.
The accounts, according to the report, had been been frozen as the panel revealed the outcome of its investigations on multi billion Dollar Arms Scandal Deal.
The outcome of the panel’s investigation suggested that Ihejirika’s children allegedly used two companies to get the sums from the Arms procurement.
According to the panel, “The committee reviewed the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd, two companies that shared the same registered office, had one name as common controlling shareholder and sole or mandatory signatory to the various banks accounts of the companies.“
Continuing, the panel said, “The committee further established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the 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.
“For instance, on February 13 and 15, the two companies were awarded contracts worth N260, 000.000.00 and N315, 000,000.00 respectively for supplies of various vehicles. The Nigerian Army could not justify the exclusive selection of these vendors against other renowned distributors of same brands of vehicles procured.
“More seriously, the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles by the two companies as there were no receipt vouchers, but only unauthenticated delivery notes, invoices and waybills that were purportedly used for the deliveries.
“Nevertheless, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics, Maj Gen D.D. Kitchener (rtd). The payments were also made without deduction of Withholding Tax (WHT). Furthermore, analyses of the various bank accounts of the two companies showed transfers to individuals , some of who are believed to be children of the army chief.
“Thus, the committee recommends further investigation to determine delivery of the vehicles and relationship of funds beneficiaries with the former COAS and the two companies. Furthermore, the panel said that Lt Gen O. A. Ihejirika (rtd), Maj Gen D. D. Kitchener (rtd), Col A. M. Inuwa and Mr Chinedu Onyekwere should be held accountable for the issues arising out of the contracts.”
The outcome of the panel, which revealed that the process of awarding the arms contracts in the Nigerian Army was fraught with irregularities, has opened a new chapter in the case against Ihejirika.