Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, who allegedly was indicted by a panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari over fake contracts’ arms purchase, has described the report as a witch hunt, baseless and lacking in diligence.
Dasuki’s fight back is coming on the heels of indication that former Service Chiefs are to be quizzed later in the week by security agencies over their roles in the arms procurement during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Findings indicate that the Federal Government may have cut a deal with the ex-service chiefs to be state witnesses against the former NSA.
Those expected to be invited to explain their roles are Naval chiefs, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba, (2010-2013), and Vice Admiral Usman Jubril (2014-2015), Air Force, Air Marshal Mohammmed Dikko (2010-2012); Air Marshal Alex Badeh (2012-2013), who later became the Chief of Defence Staff, and Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (2013-2015).
In a statement on Wednesday personally signed by himself, Dasuki said all the contracts in question were executed and payments made with the approval of Jonathan.
According to him, contrary to claims by the panel, there were no fictitious contracts or diversion of contract sums as all the services acknowledged receipt of delivered items in writing in addition to the fact that the military agencies had their own contractors.
He accused the committee of acting out a script of the Presidency in its desperation to hang some former public and military officers, who served the country at great a risk to their lives.
Dasuki pointed out that if the members of the panel had invited him to appear before them, he would have given them the necessary documents to avoid some of their findings which he described as jaundiced.
He also faulted the panel’s claim that he awarded fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015, saying he was appointed NSA on June 22, 2012 and could not have awarded contracts before then.
“To set the records straight, Nigerians should appreciate that the AVM Jon Ode-led panel did not invite the ex-NSA under any guise before arriving at its ambiguous findings. At least, fairness demands that the panel ought to hear from Dasuki instead of its recourse to hasty conclusions. If the panel had been more patient and painstaking, it would have been availed of all relevant documents on some of the jaundiced findings.
“As if acting a script, the Presidency alleged that the panel accused Dasuki of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015. Contrary to this claim, Dasuki was not the NSA in March 2012 and could not have awarded any contract in whatever name. The ex-NSA was appointed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012.
“All contracts and accruing payments were made with the approval of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Once the ex-President approved, the former NSA paid. So, there was due process for every purchase in line with regulations guiding arms procurement for the Armed Forces.
“The conclusions of the panel were presumptive, baseless and lacked diligence.
“While awaiting judicial process on these allegations, it is proper to make some references to show that the Presidency is just desperate to hang some former public and military officers, who served this nation at the risk to their lives.
“It is laughable for the panel to assume that four Alpha jets and 12 helicopters were undelivered.”
He said it was his expectation that he should have been questioned if there were issues relating to the arms purchased under him.
Dasuki, who denied being a thief or a treasury looter, noted that he was just the clearing house for the purchases as all the contracts and the equipment purchased were done with Presidential approval.
Dasuki said the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, acknowledged receipt of the four Alpha jets and the helicopters in a memo to the ONSA with reference no. NAF/905/D/CAS of November 28, 2014,
He stated that Amosu also confirmed receipt of ‘F-7 N1 aircraft combination of 250kg bombs and accessories at $2,894,000 with the cost of freight at $1,200,000’ on October 21, 2014.
The former NSA vowed to meet the Presidency in court, where he said he would defend himself.