Military Officers In Trouble As PMB Wields Big Stick

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier
told Nigerians that he inherited an empty
treasury from the past administration of
former president Goodluck Jonathan, and
vowed to go after those that have looted
the nation’s finances.
Daily Sun; Buhari probes military, Vanguard;
FG probes N3.8trn missing oil funds, The
Punch; Okonjo-Iweala spent $2.1bn without
approval- says FG, The Nation; Four-man
panel to probe how NNPC blew N3.8trn, as
well as The Guardian; FG begins probe of
NNPC, makes the front pages of the national
dailies for Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was a
former General in the Nigerian army, he has
declined to attach sentiment in his fight
against corruption as he ordered the probe
of the military institution. DAILY SUN reports
that President Buhari, on Monday, June 29,
ordered the military hierarchy to account for
the number of weapons purchased to fight
Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. He
also ordered the Military High Command to
make available records of the total amount
of money it received from the Federal
Government to fight insurgency.
Daily Sun gathered from a top military
source that the decision was taken after Mr.
President met with the service chiefs
comprising the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS),
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army
Staff (COAS), Lt.-General Kenneth Minimah,
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral
Usman Jibrin, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air
Marshal Adesola Amosu, and the Inspector
General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase.
The source said the President’s decision
might not be unconnected with the
grumbling in the military by some personnel,
who felt that their bosses and their
colleagues occupying strategic position had
taken advantage of the counter-terrorism
operations to enrich themselves.
The source, who agreed there was
corruption in the military, further disclosed
that most senior officers see the war
against insurgency as an avenue to make
money, hence, lobby to get posted to the
North-East. He said unlike in the past when
soldiers lobbied to go for international
peace-keeping operations, because of the
foreign currency they will make. He said
soldiers now lobby for counter-terrorist war
in the North-East because the profit is very
huge.
The Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation which is the country’s major
income generating sector and also the most
corrupt government organisation has been
dragged to a hot chair as President
Muhammadu Buhari ordered an
investigation into its activities for the past
years. VANGUARD reports that governors
comprising (Edo) Adams Oshiomhole,
(Kaduna) Nasir el-Rufai; (Akwa Ibom) Udom
Emmanuel; and (Gombe) Ibrahim
Dankwambo were, on Monday, June 29,
constituted into a four-man panel to probe
the NNPC. The order was given after
revelations emerged that the corporation
withheld N3.8 trillion of the N8.1 trillion
generated from oil sales.
The panel was also saddled with the
responsibility of looking into the
disappearance of another $2.1 billion that
was allegedly unilaterally withdrawn by the
Jonathan administration in the last six
months of its government. The revelations
were made at the end of the inaugural
meeting of the new National Economic
Council, in Abuja.
The President while inaugurating the NEC
promised that the FG will abide by the
provisions of Sections 80 and 162 of the
Constitution and ensure more accountability,
transparency and integrity in the
Distribution of the Federation Account. He
said all revenue generating agencies such as
NNPC, Nigeria Customs Services, Federal
Inland Revenue Services, Nigeria Ports
Authority, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
and Liquefied Natural Gas amongst others
shall comply with stipulated Financial
Regulations and Administrative Instructions
in their remittances into the Consolidated
Revenue Fund.
Meanwhile, prior to the start of the NEC
meeting, Prof. Sylvester Monye, who served
as special adviser on monitoring and
evaluation to ex-president Jonathan, in a live
Channels Television programme monitored
in Lagos, cautioned the new administration
against sustaining the language of
opposition while in office. He said their
continued propaganda could negatively
impact on the sound economic indicators
transferred by Dr. Jonathan. He said the
Jonathan administration left behind $1.5
billion in the Sovereign Wealth Fund and
another $2.09 billion in the Excess Crude
Account.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of
finance and coordinating minister of the
economy under ex-President Goodluck
Jonathan, may have landed herself in trouble
as THE PUNCH reports that the ex-minister
has been accused of spending $2.1 billion
from the Excess Crude Account without
authorisation. The accusation was made on
Monday, June 29, by the National Economic
Council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi
Osinbajo. The council said it looked at the
numbers for the ECA, the last time the
former minister reported to the council,
adding that in the minutes taken in
November 2014, she reported there was $
4.1 billion.
The Federal Government in a reaction
inaugurated a panel to probe the NNPC and
the ECA between 2012 and May, 2015. The
members of the panel are Adams
Oshiomhole, Nasir el-Rufai; Udom
Emmanuel; and Ibrahim Dankwambo.
Oshiomhole, el-Rufai, Emmanuel and the
Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari,
jointly briefed State House correspondents
after the NEC’s 58th meeting in Abuja.
Oshiomhole said: “Today, the Accountant-
General Office reported we have $2.0bn.
Which means the honourable minister spent
$2.1bn without authority of the NEC and that
money was not distributed to states, it was
not paid to the three tiers of government.”
He added that the unauthorised spending,
according to the economic council, is among
the several anomalies discovered in the
management of the nation’s economy
between 2012 and May 2015. He said within
this period, the NNPC was said to have
received a total of N8.1 trillion but remitted
only N4.3trillion.
Yari through the Director of Funds, Office of
the Accountant-General of the Federation,
Mr. M.K. Dikwa, confirmed that the council
members received the report of the ECA and
unremitted funds by the NNPC. He said: “On
that line, a four-man committee consisting
of the governors of Edo, Gombe, Kaduna and
Akwa Ibom states was constituted to go
through the books of the NNPC and Excess
Crude as well as the Federation Account. The
four-man committee is to check the books
of the NNPC, especially the issue of excess
crude and what is not remitted into the
federation’s account.”
Meanwhile, the Buhari-led administration in
its continued efforts to ensure all stolen
monies are returned to the nation’s coffers,
THE NATION reports that a four-man panel
comprising Governors Adams Oshiomhole
(Edo), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Udom
Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Nasir El-Rufai
(Kaduna) was on Monday, June 29,
constituted by the federal government to
investigate how the NNPC blew the sum of
N3.8 trillion. This was disclosed to newsmen
yesterday, by Oshiomhole after the National
Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice
President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential
Villa, Abuja.
The Edo governor, who was accompanied
by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’
Forum and Zamfara State Governor
Abdulaziz Yari, Kaduna State Governor Nasir
El-Rufai and Governor Udom Emmanuel of
Akwa Ibom, said the figure was contained
in the reports presented to NEC by the NNPC
and the office of the Accountant General of
the Federation. He said the reports showed
that N8.1 trillion generated from oil sales
during the period was not remitted to the
Federation account, adding that only N4.3
trillion was deposited by the NNPC.
THE GUARDIAN reports that governor
Oshiomhole, revealed that this is the first
time they are having a National Economic
Council meeting in which under the
instructions of the President, NNPC and the
Office of the Accountant General of the
Federation were compelled to provide
information in black and white on issues
regarding the total sales of Nigeria’s crude
from 2012 to May 2015.
The governor said it was also discovered in
the reports that former Minister of Finance
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spent $2.1 billion from
the Excess Crude Account without approval
between November last year and May 2015.
Oshiomhole faulted the NNPC for spending
without appropriation, noting that if the
federal government cannot spend without
appropriation, why should any agency do
so?

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