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Arms Fund: Defence Ministry, Service Chiefs, CBN, Others Shun Reps’ Invitation

The House Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Review the Purchase, Use and Control of Arms, Ammunition and Related Hardware by Military, Paramilitary and Other Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria on Monday expressed its displeasure with the non-appearance by Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies billed to appear before it.

The committee had invited the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; service chiefs, and other heads of paramilitary agencies.

The security and service chiefs are to explain the procurement and deployment of arms and ammunition in their respective agencies. The committee disclosed on Monday that the Ministry of Defence and the Central Bank of Nigeria were also invited.

Penultimate Friday, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), had alleged that $1bn funds meant to purchase arms to tackle insurgency during the ex-service chiefs’ tenure got missing, a statement that generated controversy.

Monguno, had in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation early that Friday, alleged that neither the funds nor the weapons the ex-service chiefs were meant to buy could be traced.

Monguno added that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum was also wondering where all the funds meant for arms went. According to him, the President will soon order a probe into the matter.

However, in a statement by his office later on Friday, the NSA recanted his earlier allegations, saying he was quoted out of context. While he admitted granting the BBC interview under reference, he denied saying funds meant for the purchase of arms had gone missing.

The committee had consequently resolved to investigate the matter.

Several members of the committee criticised the CBN particularly, accusing the apex bank of serially shunning summons by the National Assembly.

They, therefore, summoned Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele; and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.

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Copyright 2021 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.

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