The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Transparency International on Saturday, March 13, urged the Federal Government to investigate claims by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno over missing arms funds.
In an interview with the BBC Hausa on Friday, Monguno had alleged that neither the funds nor the weapons the ex-service chiefs were meant to buy could be traced.
The NSA said the President would soon order a probe into the matter.
But after Monguno’s comment went viral in the news, the Presidency said no such funds were missing, adding that Monguno was misquoted.
The NSA himself later denied the statement, saying he was misquoted.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that between 2015 and 2021, defence got a total budgetary allocations of N3.8tn.
In 2015, budgetary allocation to defence was N388.45bn; 2016, N429.12bn; 2017, N467.12bn; 2018, N580.14bn; 2019, N158.11bn; 2020, N975.77bn; and 2021, N838bn.
In its statement signed by the Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said Monguno’s denial should not be the end of the issue, adding that Buhari should order anti-graft agencies to probe the missing arms funds.
“Any allegations of corruption in the spending of public resources must be promptly, thoroughly, independently and transparently investigated. Suspected perpetrators should be brought to justice if there is relevant admissible evidence. Any missing public funds must be fully recovered and returned to the treasury.
“Investigating and prosecuting the allegations would help Nigerians to know if the funds meant to defend the country and for purchase of arms to empower Nigerian soldiers have been transparently and accountably spent,” SERAP explained
Also reacting, TI said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission should investigate Monguno’s allegation.
Commenting on the allegations of the missing funds on Saturday, the Chairman, TI Nigeria, Musa RafSanjani, said denial by government officials was unacceptable to Nigerians, insisting that a thorough probe must be carried out into the allegations.
He stated, “President Buhari, EFCC, and ICPC should begin to investigate this. The EFCC and ICPC should swing into action, they don’t need the President to direct them to do this. They have the power and responsibility to do that. We expect that the National Assembly should carry out their investigative and public hearing which should be transparent and accountable.’’
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