A former Nigerian national security adviser has been accused of embezzling more than $2 billion of government money allocated to purchasing weapons for the military to fight Islamic militant Boko Haram rebels, according to a government official. Nigerian President Muhammadu's Buhari's administration ordered the arrest of Sambo Dasuki for his alleged involvement in the procurement of arms and equipment in the armed forces and defense sector.
Buhari tweeted from his official account Tuesday that the findings in the armed forces audit were "disgusting."
"Disturbing that those entrusted [with] Nigeria's security were busy using proxies to empty the treasury, while innocent lives were wasted daily," Buhari tweeted.
The Report notes that contracts for purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs & ammunition, awarded by fmr NSA Dasuki, were fictitious
— President Buhari (@NGRPresident) November 17, 2015
Femi Adesina, an adviser to Buhari, released a statement Tuesday accusing Dasuki of awarding sham contracts to purchase 12 helicopters, four fighter jets and munitions that were never acquired. The statement says Dasuki also transfered $142.6 million from the Central Bank to a company with accounts in the United States, the Associated Press reported.
Adesina said the weaponry could have saved thousands of lives from the insurgency of Boko Haram militants.
”The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition," Adesina said in the statement obtained by the Daily Post in Nigeria. "Had the funds siphoned to these non-performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided."
Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians in the past six years. At least 32 people were killed Tuesday in an explosion in Yola, Nigeria, that was believed to be the work of Boko Haram militants.
Dasuki has not answered any questions regarding the allegations, according to the Department of the State Security Service. He has been under house arrest for one week, according to Nigerian news site the Vanguard.
"In light of these findings, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts,” the statement said.