Arms Deal: Ex-Military Chiefs Offer To Refund Loot
There were indications last night that some of the former military chiefs and military officers under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have volunteered to refund some money for jobs undone.
A source privy to the activities of the Special Investigative Committee said: “About four of such former officers have offered to make refunds. I think Dasuki does not know the extent to which the panel had gone in probing the arms deals.
“When the case gets to court, Nigerians will appreciate the depth of the investigation by the panel.”
In line with its enabling Act of Parliament, EFCC may seize the assets of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and some ex-military chiefs allegedly involved in the N644 billion arms deals.
The anti-graft commission may invoke temporary assets forfeiture clause as part of the ongoing probe of the arms procurement.
It was learnt that three suspects, including a top Nigerian and two Israelis, have sneaked out of the country to escape arrest.
It was also gathered that some former service chiefs have offered to return votes meant for failed contracts.
A reliable source said: “The EFCC may invoke Assets Forfeiture clause to seize the properties of Dasuki and other Service Chiefs who allegedly diverted or misappropriated funds meant for arms procurement in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.
“Section 28 reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’
“We have appreciable list of assets in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt to be attached. One of the affected officers built two mansions in Kaduna and Abuja under six months.
“A Service Chief is also being investigated for allegedly acquiring a property of the late first Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
As at the time of filing this report, three key suspects in the procurement process were alleged to have sneaked out of the country.
Another source said: “The government may appear to have been hard on Dasuki because three suspects implicated in the arms deal have sneaked out of the country. The suspects, including a top Nigerian and two Israelis, were rated as closer to Dasuki.
“Wherever they are, we will repatriate them accordingly. With the cooperation of some countries, there is no hiding place for any suspect.
“This is one of the reasons why the Federal Government does not want Dasuki to travel out for medical treatment.
“The Department of State Security Service(DSS) was proactive in placing one of the suspects on surveillance but the recourse to court made the affected culprit to leave the country.
“Another factor is that the cases against the ex-NSA are many and the government cannot say because of an isolated matter, he should be allowed to go abroad. What if he does not return to the country?”
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