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Confusion as NSA denies saying arms money missing under ex-service chiefs

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BABAGANA Monguno, national security adviser, has denied saying that money meant for arms were missing under the leadership of former service chiefs of the country.

Monguno denied the statement earlier attributed to him during an interview with  BBC Hausa on Friday.

The former service chiefs, now appointed non-career ambassadors, are Abayomi Olonisakin, former chief of defence staff; Tukur Buratai, former chief of army staff; Ibok Ekwe Ibas, former chief of naval staff, and Sadique Abubakar, former chief of air staff.

Earlier on Friday, the NSA was reported to have said that huge funds meant for the purchase of arms were missing during the tenure of the former service chiefs.

Monguno had said that he was not implying that the funds were diverted by the former service chiefs, stressing, however, that the money was not there, so were the arms.

Read AlsoAmbassadorial appointments do not grant immunity to ex-service chiefs, says Odinkalu

“The president has done his best by approving huge sums of money for the purchase of weapons, but the weapons were not bought, they are not here. Now, he has appointed new service chiefs, hopefully, they will devise some ways.

“I am not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now. I believe Mr President will investigate where the money went,” Monguno said.

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He had noted that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the new service chiefs had also raised concerns about the whereabouts of the funds meant for arms purchase, adding that preliminary investigation had shown that neither the money nor arms were in the military.

However, against his assertions during the interview, a statement from the Office of the National Security Adviser late Friday evening said Monguno was ‘quoted out of context.’

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According to the statement, the NSA meant that the president had ‘provided enormous resources for arms procurement, but the orders were either inadequate or yet to be delivered and that did not imply that the funds were misappropriated under the former service chiefs.”

On whether President Muhammadu Buhari was investigating missing arms in the military, the statement read that the president was only following up on the procurement process.

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