Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to cause investigation into allegations that funds appropriated for procurement of arms and other military equipment, to prosecute the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency war in the North-East, may not have been properly applied.
Asked what he thought was responsible for series of attacks on troops in the North-East in recent time, and attendant loss of lives, Sagay said: “Well, I believe the saying that ‘a dying snake is very vicious’. I believe the Boko Haram is dying, and this is their last set of vicious attacks, to give us the wrong impression that they are still potent.
“You will find that after this spate of attacks, they will just die quietly. Very soon, they will be extinguished.” When reminded that some individuals and groups had alleged that corruption was partly responsible for the losses incurred in the theatre of operation, the professor of law responded: “Corruption in what respect? “No, I don’t have any ev-idence on that. You know, we, Nigerians, always have a way of jumping to conclusion on sentiments, rather than on facts.
“It’s not impossible, but there is no evidence. And so, I won’t come to that conclusion, as of now. “But, I will expect the government to investigate these allegations, to make sure that all the money (funds) being voted for the military, are being channeled towards their training and weaponry; rather than being diverted. “I will expect the government, as a responsible government, to do that. And then, after that, we will know what to say.”
But, the Military has said it was not afraid of any form of investigation, insisting that it does not buy arms. It added that procurement procedures had been the watchword. Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. John Agim, who stated the position in a brief telephone interview with our correspondent, said: “I don’t have any take. You should ask the chairman what informed his doing that. So, if they want to investigate; the military don’t buy. There are procedures for procurement. “So, if anybody wants to investigate, they can go ahead”. Meanwhile, Sagay has expressed support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act (amendment) bill that was transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
This was as he noted that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s support for the amendment, made the President’s decision more compelling. “Let me tell you the truth. In my mind, my suspicion; the enthusiasm of the PDP for this amendment, frightens me. It gives me the impression that there is something in it somewhere, which they intend to use in a corrupt and fraudulent manner, to overturn the actual results of the election. That is my personal feeling; nobody told me that. “Anything the PDP is anxious about, you will always have something (allegedly) corrupt; something they want to use to upstage the actual votes of the people.