Lawmakers summon Emefiele, Army chief, others over arms purchase

March 22, 2021
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The House of Representatives on Monday summoned the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, and the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, to appear before them to answer queries over the purchase of arms.

This decision was taken at the meeting of 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.

The duo were ordered to appear before the House on April 7, 2021, by 2 pm. Others invited were the Ministry of Finance, Bureau for Public Procurement, Ministry of Defence, and Ministry of Interior.

Attahiru had sent a representative, Major General C. Ofuche at the committee’s last sitting, but this was rejected by the members.

Members of the committee said the issue was a serious and sensitive one and needed the COAS to address them in person.

It would be recalled that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, had alleged in an interview with the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) that the government was unable to trace and account for the $1bn taken from the excess crude account in 2018 to buy weapons during the tenure of the former service chiefs.

Predictably, the allegation has stirred an intense controversy, with the NSA, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), insisting that he was quoted out of context. Even though the NSA has partially walked back his allegations, few are convinced that he didn’t know what he was talking about. So, the question remains: where is the money, and where are the weapons?

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