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Reps investigates Buhari’s probe panel on arms purchase under Jonathan

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The House of Representatives has mandated a Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Public Procurement to investigate the Jon-Ode led Presidential Arms probe panel constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The panel, which probed arms procurements, mainly under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was recently disbanded by the federal government.

The Reps Joint Committee chaired by Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji of Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Hon. Oluwole Oke of the Committee on Public Procurement, has called for submission of written memoranda/position papers from top government officials and 241 firms.

The committee has also urged the general public with relevant information on the matter are requested to make submissions before holding the public hearings.

Those officially invited to make submissions of their memoranda include the Chairman and members of the Jon-ode Arms Probe Panel, National Security Adviser (NSA), Defence Minister, Finance Ministers, Interior Minister, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federation and Auditor General of the Federation.

Other are Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Service Chiefs and Ex-Service Chiefs from 2010 to 2016, Director General, Department of State Service (DSS), Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Acting Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Director General Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Director General of the Pension Commission (PENCOM), Director General Industrial Training Fund and Managing Director Social Insurance Trust Fund.

The arm probe panel, inaugurated in 2015, was among others, asked to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the military.

The panel submitted its first interim report in November 2015, while it presented the second report in January 2016.

President Muhammadu Buhari then ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate some serving and retired military officers, mainly from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

Buhari also directed investigations on the roles of the officers as well as some companies and their directors in fundamental breaches associated with the procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Air Force.

But some members of the arm probe panel were accused of receiving bribes, during investigations, from individuals and companies that were being probed by the same panel.

One of the members was later arrested and detained by Department State Service, DSS, for money-laundering and illegal possession of firearms.

Apart from AVM Jon Ode who was the Chairman, other members of the disbanded arms probe panel, include Rear Admiral J.A. Aikhomu (retd.); Rear Admiral. E. Ogbor (retd.); Brig.-Gen. L. Adekagun (retd.); Brig.-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (retd.); Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (retd.); Cdre T.D. Ikoli; Air Cdre U. Mohammed (retd.); Air Cdre I. Shafi’i; Col. A.A. Ariyibi; Group Capt C.A. Oriaku (rtd.); Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and Brig-Gen Y.I. Shalangwa as its Secretary.

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