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Nigeria indicts 300 army officers and firms over arms scandal

Nigeria indicts 300 army officers and firms over arms scandal

Nigeria

Nigeria has indicted more than 300 local and foreign companies and individuals, including senior military officers, over an arms scandal.

They are accused of defrauding the country of $241m in fake contracts, a government statement says.

“A committee set up to probe contracts awarded by the Office of the National Security Adviser from 2011 to 2015 has indicted more than 300 companies and prominent citizens including serving and retired officers of the armed forces,” the presidency said in a statement.

A committee set up to probe contracts awarded by the Office of the National Security Adviser from 2011 to 2015 has indicted more than 300 companies and prominent citizens including serving and retired officers of the armed forces.

“Several contractors were apparently overpaid, while others were given full upfront payments contrary to their contract terms and agreements in force,” the statement said.

Another firm had been given 7.9 million euros ($8.83 million) and $7.09 million in overpaid contracts, according to the statement.

It lists all the companies and individuals indicted including former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, who is facing separate fraud charges linked to the arms scandal.

Mr Dasuki, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, has previously denied the allegations of corruption in relation to phantom contracts.

The investigation was done by a special committee appointed by President Buhari, who came to office in May partly on a promise to clamp down on corruption.

The committee found that contracts were awarded “without any contractual agreement or evidence of jobs executed,” the statement added.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a probe last year after funds meant to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram militants were allegedly diverted.

More than $35m has been recovered in the investigation so far.

Reuters

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