SaharaReporters has learned of a monumental $8,853,600 (N1,751,864,867) fraud in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) during the just-terminated tenure of Mr. Sambo Dasuki.
The fraud pertains to shipments of guns and ammunitions allegedly for the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, for which the amount was allegedly allocated for the purchase of arms and ammunition, none of which seem to have ever arrived in Nigeria.
This fraud appears to have been perpetrated at a time that Nigeria was in desperate need of military hardware to fight the insurgency in the northeast of the country, with Boko Haram murdering or abducting thousands of civilians. The then President, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, and his officials, were also openly critical of international partners, including the United States, for not selling arms to Nigeria.
The news of this particular fraud breaks only two weeks after the former the home of Mr. Dasuki was raided by State Security agents for his connection to the South Africa cash-for-arms scandal last year. In it, $15 million cash in Nigeria funds being brought into that country was impounded by the authorities.
The shocking documents obtained by SaharaReporters include an itemized End User Certificate (EUC) dated September 2014 and bearing the stamp of the Office of the National Security Adviser. The EUC includes the purchase of 1,200 Tavor X95 Rifles, 2 million 5.56mm bullets, and 2 million 9mm bullets totaling nearly 9 million dollars.
SaharaReporters also learned that the prices of the weapons and ammunition on the EUC were suspiciously inflated, as much as 50% in some cases. SaharaReporters’ investigation has revealed that Tavor X95 rifles retail at around $1,500 (298,530 Naira) each, and that 9mm and 5.56mm rounds range from .25 cents and .36 cents (50 and 70 Naira) per round. The EUC has a suspicious bulk purchase of Tavor X95 rifles at $4,860 (967,237 Naira) each, and the ammunition costs .65 cents (129 Naira) per bullet.
Other documents obtained by SaharaReporters reveal that on June 19, 2015 Brigadier General for National Security AS Mormoni-Bashir sent a panicky letter on behalf of Mr. Dasuki requesting Tar Ideal Concepts Ltd, which is located in Israel, to provide the contents of the EUC to Nigeria noting that “the shipment is long overdue with its implications on the use of the weapons.”
The letter further stated that the weapons and ammunitions were purchased by a middleman, Carrington White Investment Limited.
SaharaReporters contacted a representative of Tar Ideal Concepts who confirmed that they worked with “Carrington White” as a middleman between the company and the Nigerian government. Asked about the relationship between Tar Ideal Concepts, Carrington White, and the Nigerian government, the representative said Tar Ideal Concepts was responsible for selling the weapons and ammunition to the Nigerians, and Carrington White was responsible for the distribution of the munitions and weapons.
The representative added that he “was not responsible for the shipment” and only deals with the end-user. A second letter obtained by SaharaReporters, dated June 19th 2015, also written by Brigadier General Mormoni-Bashir to the Israeli government-owned Israeli Military Industries (IMI) confirmed that the Office of the NSA had received a notice from IMI that it required an “Import License on the procurement” of 4 million rounds. According to Mormoni-Bashir, “the shipment does not require import license as an End User Certificate has already been issued to Carrington White.”
It was also revealed during the phone call with Tar Ideal Concepts representative that up till now, the IMI is still physically in possession of the ammunition being requested by Nigeria, as it has not left Israel. The Tar Ideal Concepts representative said that the company was “responsible for obtaining sales permits from the Israeli government” but that Carrington White was responsible for obtaining all relevant documents from the Nigerian government. He also stated that Tar Ideal Concepts obtained all required documents by December 31st, 2014.
SaharaReporters reached out by phone to representatives of IMI who declined to comment on our investigation.
During the course of SaharaReporters’ investigation, it was learned that Carrington White Investments Limited, who was issued the EUC by the Office for National Security, is headed by Mr. Bestman Uwadia. Confidential sources provided a photograph of Mr. Uwadia’s international passport to SaharaReporters which states that he was born in Jos, Plateau State, in 1969. This same source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Uwadia is personally close to former President Jonathan.
SaharaReporters contacted Mr. Uwadia on his mobile phone and he at first confirmed to our correspondent that he worked with Carrington White Limited and “the shipment arrived three weeks ago,” but that he could not remember a specific date. This statement, however, is in direct contradiction with other evidence gathered by SaharaReporters.
Mr. Uwadia became hostile to our correspondent’s questions and began denying his prior statements. He instead directed all remaining questions to the Office of the NSA.
SaharaReporters correspondents reached out to the Office of the NSA for an explanation relating to the cost of the weapons and ammunition; the reason the Nigerian military has not received the goods listed on the EUC, and their relationship with Carrington White.
One high-ranking official previously associated with the Office for the NSA admitted to our correspondent “the cost of these items looks to be too high.” In a written statement to SaharaReporters an NSA representative declared, “Only NSA is authorized to issue End User Certificates (EUC).” The official also confirmed that the EUC SaharaReporters showed them had been “legally awarded.”
Significantly, this statement described Carrington White as “authorized and recognized suppliers to the producing companies/countries.”
The statement also said, “When the Contractor couldn’t supply the items [in the EUC] immediately, NSA instructed that a warning letter should be issued to the contractor for prompt supply” adding that “the use of middle man (Agent for arms supplies) is conventional in arm [sic] purchase.”
News of this latest scandal involving the Office of the NSA follows months of controversy surrounding how Nigerian soldiers have been under-equipped to fight Boko Haram terrorists. The lack of resources and equipment for Nigerian soldiers on the frontline of the fight against Boko Haram forced many soldiers to desert or resign from their posts.
Just last week, the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, who was sacked recently, declared that he had led a military, which lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight Boko Haram terrorists.