National News

Niger Republic Citizen Scams Nigerian Army In N166billion Arms’ Deal

Aboubakar Hima, a Niger Republic citizen, is currently on the Nigerian security agencies’ wanted list for scamming the Nigerian Army in a N166 billion weapons supply contract.

Hima, a Niger Republic Fulani, is also being hunted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and is on the commission’s wanted list, according to SaharaReporters.

According to SaharaReporters, the Chief Executive Officer of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux, SEI, a Niger Republic resident, acquired funds for the acquisition of equipment that did not fulfill the necessary criteria.

According to reports, the suspect defrauded $394 million, €9.9 million, and N369 million, totaling almost N166 billion.

The Nigerian military has had massive budgets for weaponry and ammunition since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2016, including the disputed $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Oil Account.

The military’s senior echelon has been accused of mishandling in the distribution of the money and other allocations for armaments.

The EFCC has issued a wanted notice for Hima in connection with the N166 billion deal, according to SaharaReporters.

“The public is hereby notified that the person whose photograph appears in this alert is wanted by the EFCC.

“Aboubakar Hima is wanted in a case of criminal conspiracy, contract scam, misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and fraud to the tune of over $394million, €9.9million and N369million.

“The suspect, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux, SEI, is alleged to have received the sums for the purchase of equipment for the Nigerian Military. However, investigations have revealed discrepancies in the supply of the equipment.

“Having failed to honour invitations from the Commission, Hima is currently evading investigation, thus the need to declare him wanted.

“46-year-old Hima is a Nigerien citizen. The suspect speaks French and Hausa Languages fluently but has limited English proficiency. His last known address is Sapele Street, Garki II, Abuja,” the notice signed by Tony Orilade, from the Media and Publicity division, said.

SaharaReporters had reported months back how $381million was released to the army and navy out of the $1billion for the purchase of critical equipment.

Earlier in the year, the National Security Adviser, Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd,), had raised an alarm that the funds meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram and other security challenges in the country were missing.

Although under pressure, he had later recanted that he was misquoted.

In an interview he granted to the BBC Hausa, Monguno had said, “Mr President is going to investigate those funds. As we are talking with you at present, the state governors, the Governors Forum have started raising questions in that direction. $1billion has been released, and that has been released, and nothing seems to be changing. So I assure you that the president will not take this lightly.

“The funds are nowhere to be found and the weapons have not been seen and the newly appointed service chiefs have declared that they have not seen the weapons.”

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