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Why we want security votes banned, by CSOs

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Seek transparency in procurement of military equipment
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have said that the huge amount of money being voted by governments as security votes should be banned, saying they are hidden behind a veil of secrecy that serves to mask all sorts of sins.

They said the security votes are one of the most durable forms of corruption in Nigeria, adding that the total security votes spent in 2017 amounts to N241.4 billion, which they said, is more than the yearly budget of the Nigerian Army, more than the yearly budget of the Nigerian Air Force and Navy combined and more than 70 per cent of the yearly budget of the Nigeria Police Force.

They also lamented lack of transparency in the procurement of military equipment.

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Senior Programme Manager, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) Okeke Anya, and others, who spoke at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja on behalf of the CSOs, said: “There should be a ban on security votes and also, there should be adequate transparency in the procurement of military equipment.”

They, however, urged the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to be proactive by following up on suspicious transaction reports, which banks and financial providers have indentified as potential money laundering cases.

Besides, the groups said the electoral processes at the federal and sub-national levels needed to be free of political profiteering and manipulation, while urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to set up mechanisms for monitoring the maximum limit of election expenses.

Also, it regretted that despite acceleration in the rate of repatriation and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption, the country still do not see the investigations, prosecutions and convictions at the highest level of our political class, noting that many corrupt politicians, businessmen and women seem to be above the law and out of reach of law enforcement agents.

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