A Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Public Procurement has been mandated by the House of Representatives to probe the Jon-Ode led Presidential Arms probe panel.
The arms probe panel which was inaugurated in 2015 by the Presidency to investigate procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces from 2007 to 2015 and to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the military was recently disbanded by the Federal Government.
Before it disbandment, the panel submitted its first interim report in November 2015 and second report in January 2016.
Following the report President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate some serving and retired military officers, mainly from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
He also instructed that inquiries be made on the roles of the officers as well as some companies and their directors in fundamental breaches associated with the procurement by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Air Force.
Sequel to the probe, some members of the probe panel were accused of receiving kickbacks from individuals and companies that were being investigated by the same panel.
A member of the panel was later arrested and detained by Department State Service (DSS) over allegation of money-laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
The panel was also accused by some serving security officials of merely criminalising critical institutions and indicting groups and individuals through media trials without arraigning them in courts of competent jurisdiction to defend themselves.
It was upon these controversies surrounding the panel that the House Joint Committee chaired by Aminu Sani Jaji of Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Oluwole Oke of the Committee on Public Procurement is carrying out the investigation, and has called for submission of written memoranda/position papers from top government officials and 241 firms.
Disclosing this to PRNigeria, a member of the committee who would not want his name mentioned, said that other stakeholders and the general public with important information on the issue could also make their submission, before public hearings on the matter will be held.
Chairman and members of the Jon-Ode Arms Probe Panel, National Security Adviser (NSA), Defence Minister, Finance Ministers, Interior Minister, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federation and Auditor General of the Federation are among those officially invited to make submissions.
Also invited are Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Service Chiefs and Ex-Service Chiefs from 2010 to 2016, Director General, Department of State Service (DSS), Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Acting Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Director General Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Director General of the Pension Commission (PENCOM), Director General Industrial Training Fund and Managing Director Social Insurance Trust Fund.
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