REPORT: How military officials are profiting from Boko Haram war
Some military officials have been accused of profiting from the Boko Haram crisis in the north-east.
Global watchdog Transparency International said this in a report released on the crisis.
“Corrupt military officials have been able to benefit from the conflict through the creation of fake defence contracts, the proceeds of which are often laundered abroad in the United Kingdom (UK), United States (U.S.) and elsewhere,” the report read.
The allegations of misappropriation of funds meant for equipping the military have persistently trailed the battle against Boko Haram.
TI noted that last year, the vice-president said around $15 billion had been stolen from the public purse under the previous government through fraudulent arms procurement deals.
It said this had left the military without vital equipment, “insufficiently trained, low in morale and under-resourced”.
“This has crippled the Nigerian military in fighting an aggressive ideologically inspired enemy such as Boko Haram,” the group said.
But John Enenche, defence spokesman, has dismissed the allegation, accusing the agency of seeking to block the international support Nigeria is getting in the war against insurgency.
Enenche said the UN had already commended the military in its war against corruption.
“The attention of defence headquarters has been drawn to an inciting corruption allegation against military officials, by Transparency International. Let me start by making it clear that this sweeping allegation is false with the following clarifications,” Eneche said at a press conference in Abuja.
“The present leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has done a lot to train, boost troops morale and procure vital equipment through due process, for the North East operations against Boko Haram in particular and other operations.
“The defence headquarters, army, navy and air force headquarters have established procurement branches that are guided by the rules and regulations of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP). The Ministry of Defence deals directly with states and governments on defence equipment procurement without using contractors or vendors any longer.”
Enenche said a sweeping statement of corruption against military officials at this time was rather disheartening.
“More so that the Nigerian military was on 22 March 2017 credited by the U.S. as having done very well to fight insurgency and extremism among others, with advice to other countries to learn from Nigeria. That such an allegation is coming at the peak of consistent successes being recorded at our areas of operational engagements, the North East in particular, it must be treated with utmost suspicion,” the defence spokesman said.
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