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Probe graft charges against military contractor, officials, CSLAC tells Buhari

By Abdulganiyu Alabi, Kaduna
28 June 2022   |   2:41 am
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CSLAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently investigate the corruption allegations by the Independent Corrupt Practices

[files] Buhari. Photo/facebook.com/MuhammaduBuhari

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CSLAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently investigate the corruption allegations by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) against a military contractor, K. Salam Construction Company and other indicted officials.

Reports have been trending that the contractor’s Abuja home was allegedly raided by the anti-graft agency, where billions of naira and other luxury items were reportedly uncovered.

In a statement, its Executive Director and Head of Transparency International (TI) chapter in Nigeria, Auwal Rafsanjani, said the President must direct ICPC to probe and expose the true source and ownership of the recovered assets and items with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators and their accomplices are brought to justice.

Lamenting that graft in the defence sector had done great harm to political stability, counter-terrorism fights, socio-economic development and well-being of Nigerians at all levels, the CSLAC boss demanded transparency and accountability in military spending and sound investigations by the National Assembly into unaccounted spending on weapons.

The statement reads in part: “CISLAC)/TI) chapter in Nigeria is seriously concerned by billions of naira alongside other luxury items reportedly uncovered during a recent raid on the home of a military contractor, K. Salam Construction Company, by ICPC in Abuja.

“While the nation’s defence spending has hitherto been buried in secrecy and institutionalised corruption that impedes efficient services and national 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 observe that the ongoing exposure is not unconnected to other entrenched symptoms of the unquantified level of systemic corruption dominating defence procurement and spending like unaccounted funds as approved for the procurement of weapons and frequent denial by successive security chiefs of the existence of weapons.

“Diversion of defence and security funds to private pockets through procurement process constitutes a serious threat to Nigeria’s defence and security sector and services, and has left our security operatives ill-equipped, poorly remunerated and demoralised in spite of the persistently increased defence budgetary allocation and spending from 2011 to date.”

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