The Presidency has said no fund was missing under the watch of the immediate past service chiefs, adding that procurements have been made for military weapons but the arms were yet to be delivered.
According to Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, missing funds can’t happen under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Shehu spoke on Friday on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, monitored by The PUNCH,
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the National Security Adviser to the President, Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.), said some funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs.
The ex-service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.); Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas (retd.); and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).
“No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went,” the NSA had said in an interview with BBC Hausa on Friday.
But speaking hours later also on Friday, Shehu said the NSA was misquoted, stressing that Monguno did not accuse the ex-service chiefs of misappropriation of funds.
He said, “About the $1bn taken from the Excess Crude Account with the consent of state governors used for military procurements, I want to assure you that nothing of that money is missing.
“The reference by it in the interview of the BBC Hausa Service by the National Security Adviser has been misconstrued and mistranslated.
“NSA made two critical points –one is that we don’t have enough weapons which is a statement of facts; and two procurements made have not been fully delivered.”
“At no point did the NSA say that money has been misappropriated and that no arms is seen. They have not been delivered, that is correct; these are things you don’t get off the shelves,” Shehu noted.
The presidential spokesman said critics of the government were being political by trying to make a comparison between a Peoples Democratic Party government and an All Progressives Congress administration.
He said, “People are just been political, they want to draw moral equivalent between the PDP and the APC administrations – we are not the same, things like this cannot happen under a Buhari administrations.”