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Arms probe: Army General weeps as ex-AGF refunds N1bn

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Confronted with incontrovertible evidence of malfeasance, a serving Major General broke down in tears during his appearance before the 13-man panel probing procurement of arms and other military equipment between 2007 and 2015.

It was gathered from highly placed military sources that the two-star general, who once held a powerful position at one of the formations under the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) wept shortly after he was confronted with hard and overwhelming evidence of alleged corrupt practices in the procurement of military hardware.

The Army General was among the 17 serving and retired military officers indicted in the first interim report of the audit panel over the procurement of arms and other equipment for the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).

“He was indicted in the first interim report on the Air Force. Now he has a case in the procurement of arms and other military equipment for the Nigerian Army,” the source said.

It was gathered that the senior Army officer, who is currently on posting at the DHQ, is alleged to have been involved in the purchase of some substandard Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and other equipment, for the prosecution of the anti-Boko Haram war in Borno and other troubled North-East states.

One of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, owing to the sensitivity of the probe, said the General, who initially denied any wrongdoing in the arms deal, was forced to eat his words, when the audit panel confronted him with suspicious transactions made through his personal accounts.

“The panel discovered through painstaking investigation several suspicious lodgements in personal domiciliary accounts in about five banks belonging to the Army General,” the source said.

The said transactions were all the panel used to humble him during his appearance.

Investigations further revealed that many of the purchases were done at outrageously high and inflated prices; a development, which was said to be too stunning to contemplate.

The panel, it was reliably learnt, allegedly discovered that the General was deeply involved in the procurement process, using his former position at one of the military formations.

“Maybe I should tell you that a serving Major General broke down in tears when he was confronted with realities of his involvement in (alleged) shady deals in respect of purchase of arms and other military equipment.

“Though, he had insisted that his hands were clean, claiming that he did not abuse his office at a formation. All that ceased when the panel showed him hard and incontrovertible facts, which suggested that nothing could be farther from the truth.

“Listen, as a serving officer, what will such huge amount of money be doing in his personal accounts, as a public officer? “As officers and soldiers, we are not strangers to the fact that our esteemed profession is not one that confers outrageous wealth on us,” he said.

Continuing, the reliable source said: “It is ridiculous that, what we are seeing was done by some of our officers.

“The (alleged) fraud is so monumental that you will want to ask what is really happening in our country.”

A retired Major General, who handled finances of the Nigerian Army, confirmed that he had appeared before the panel.

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