In continuation of investigations into the disbursement of the $2.1 billion arms fund, another serving officer and former Director of Military Intelligence, Major General Wiwa, has been arrested.
This came as wife of the former Chief of Air Staff, Mrs. Lara Amosu, who was detained overnight by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been freed. General Wiwa, younger brother to late Ken Saro-Wiwa, the late Ogoni rights activists’ who was executed by the Abacha’s government in connection with the Ogoni crises of the 1990’s, was the Deputy Commandant at the Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, before his arrest.
Security sources disclosed that the senior officer, who is currently being detained at one of the major military barracks in Abuja, might have been arrested because of the sensitive positions he held in service. General Wiwa was at several times, Military Assistant to late General Owoye Azazi when he served as Chief of Defence Staff. He was Principal Staff Officer, PGSO, at the office of the National Security Adviser when Azazi served as NSA. He continued in the position as PGSO when Col Sambo Dasuki was NSA and was later appointed Director of Military Intelligence when Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika became the Chief of Army staff. When Lt. General Kenneth Minimah assumed office as the Chief of Army Staff, he retained Wiwa as DMI.
Sources further disclosed that General Wiwa could be the key to unraveling a lot of unclear deals involving some military and arms contractors as well as the roles of some service chiefs, who may be invited in future as investigation continues. Last Friday, Army authorities confirmed that 12 Army officers, including serving and retired, had been sent to the EFCC for investigation. The Army also said that at the end of the commission’s investigations, those found culpable would be tried by a military Court Martial. A statement signed by Col Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, had said: “The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public that 12 Army officers have been sent to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), for investigation.
“This comprised of three serving Major Generals, and one retired, three Brigadier Generals, four Colonels and one Lieutenant Colonel. “However, it should be noted that at the end of the Commission’s investigations those found culpable will be tried by a military Court Martial. Col Usman, did not state in specific term what the officers were being investigated for. However, wife of the former Chief of Air Staff, Mrs. Lara Amosu, who was detained overnight by the EFCC, has been freed. Vanguard gathered that Amosu was detained following certain accounts related to her husband, who is being investigated in connection with the $2.1 billion arms fund traced to her. Although the exact figure and details of the accounts were not made public, EFCC interrogated her for hours, last week. But a source close to the investigation, confirmed to Vanguard last night that Mrs. Amosu had been released on bail.
“She is not in our custody, having been granted administrative bail. She will be asked to report back whenever we need her for further investigation,” the source said. A top source said the amount of money recovered from the former Air chief’s house in Lagos had been taken and kept as exhibit to be used when the trial of those involved in the arms scandal begins.
There were earlier reports that the anti-graft agency had discovered a whopping sum of N17.5 billion in the accounts of wives of three airforce chiefs. Meanwhile, Citizens’ Initiative for Security Awareness (CISA), a civil society group engaged in creating and spreading security awareness among Nigerians, has cautioned the media against sensational stories as it concerned investigations of some retired and serving military officers allegedly indicted in the ongoing corruption probes.
A statement signed by Aliyu Dogo, Head of Publicity and Mobilization CISA, said: “We frown on the unconscionable concoction of stories and unrelated pictures to tar certain officers in the media. ‘’Take for instance the story making rounds that $1m dollars was found in drums or in soak- away belonging to a certain officer, yet the soak-away has no sign of breakage nor were Nigerians shown the confiscated money. “Just so to achieve the intention of demonizing the officers, the picture of drums containing US dollar belonging to the late Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar, which was unearthed by a Colombian farmer in 2015 are being circulated today in Nigeria as belonging to a Nigerian military officer indicted for corruption.
“Nigerians were also told of the former Military Assistant to Late Gen. Azazi and Sambo Dasuki, who is a serving Colonel whose house was allegedly broken and millions of dollars were allegedly found inside. This same officer is still in detention for more than 2 months yet no charge has been preferred against him, while the so-called millions of dollars found in his house is not authenticated.