The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre on Sunday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the issue of corruption uncovered by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission regarding billions of naira and other items found.
Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director CISLAC and Head Transparency International in Nigeria, made the call in a statement.
Rafsanjani said that billions of naira in cash alongside other luxurious items reportedly uncovered during a recent raid at the home of a military contractor, K. Salam Construction Company, by the ICPC in Abuja deserved probe.
He said that there was the need for the President to urge ICPC to fully dig deep and expose the true source and ownership of the recovered assets/items to ensure the perpetrators and their accomplices are judiciously prosecuted and adequately sanctioned.
He expressed concern over what he described as unattended corruption issues in procurement processes in Nigeria.
He said: “While the nation’s Defence spending has hitherto been buried in absolute secrecy and institutionalised corruption that impede efficient services and nation’s security, the fact-finding as detected by the anti-graft institution, has indeed validated the persistent public outcry by CISLAC/TI Nigeria for transparency and accountability in Defence procurement and spending.
“We without doubt observed that the ongoing exposure is not unconnected to other entrenched symptoms of unquantified level of systemic corruption dominating defence procurement.
“This is also seen in spending like unaccounted funds as approved for the procurement of weapons and frequent denial by successive Security Chiefs of the existence of weapons,”
Rafsanjani said that the diversion of defence and security funds to private pockets through procurement process constituted a serious threat to Nigeria’s Defence and Security sector and services.”
Rafsanjani added that it had left the security operatives ill-equipped, poorly-remunerated and demoralised in spite the persistently increased Defence budgetary allocation and spending from 2011 to date.
He said that this is just as the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to make its spending public continued to frustrate effort by Civil Society groups and other well-meaning institutions to track the nation’s investment in the military and allied agencies.
He said: “Consequently, Defence personnel and Security operatives are rendered incapacitated from curbing violence, insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.”