The National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), had reportedly told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Friday that the $1 billion drawn from the national treasury to procure arms for the military was declared missing under the watch of the immediate past service chiefs.
The NSA, however, said in a statement issued on Friday night that he was quoted out of context by a section of the media on his interview with the BBC.
The Presidency also said in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, that Monguno’s interview was mistranslated by the media.
He also insisted that arms procurement scam cannot take place under President Buhari’s watch.
But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said the NSA’s revelations had further validated the anxieties in the public space that the funds which were sneaked out from the national coffers without appropriation in 2017 had since been diverted to private purses of the corrupt All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and the criminal cabal in the government.
According to PDP, the contradiction in the NSA’s revelations leaves no one in doubt that the current administration has become a haven for fraudsters, criminal cabals and treasury looters pillaging the country’s coffers under executive cover.
The statement read: “Nigerians could see how officials of the Buhari Presidency have been struggling to divert attention from this huge swindle by claiming that the money was spent for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano planes, which it also claimed would be delivered in 2020, only for the NSA to now declare that the entire fund cannot be traced.
“Four years down the line, nobody has seen the Super Tucano planes and no explanation has been given by the Buhari Presidency over the whereabouts of the money.
“Our party recalls how, instead of offering explanations when the issue was first raised in July 2019, the Buhari Presidency resorted to hauling insults on the PDP and other patriotic citizens, while making hollow, disjointed and uncoordinated claims, which the NSA’s assertion has now exposed to be lies and fabrications.
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“It is indeed shameful that President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over a security architecture where funds provided by his Presidency for the purchase of arms had vanished into thin air while our citizens and gallant troop in the front are left at the mercies of terrorists and insurgents.
“While it is common knowledge that this administration is into treasury looting, our party asserts that stealing of money meant for the purchase of arms to protect the people is an unpardonable sacrilege.
“Perhaps this could be part of the reason the Buhari administration and the APC leadership of the Senate hurriedly conferred diplomatic immunity to the erstwhile service chiefs, under whose command the humongous sum grew wings.
“Our party insists that President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief, must take the full responsibility of explaining the whereabouts of the money as the buck stops only on his table.
“Furthermore, the PDP urges the NSA to commence a system-wide investigation as well as place certain APC leaders and their cronies in the Presidency under watch to ensure that none of them escapes from the country to evade justice.”
“Moreover, beyond the ongoing investigation in the House of Representatives, our party calls for a joint public hearing of the National Assembly to investigate the whereabouts of the $1billion as well as other monies meant for security purposes under President Buhari’s watch.”
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