The Military has dismissed claim by the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan that his administration purchased some warships and aircraft from the controversial $2.2b arms money.
Jonathan had absolved his former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki(rtd) of allegations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that he, Dasuki, misappropriated billions of dollars meant for the procurement of arms.
Speaking in the United Kingdom on Monday, the former President said he did not believe that Dasuki stole the money because weapons were bought for the military under his government.
But reacting to Jonathan’s claim, some military sources are of the view that the immediate past President may have been “deceived” regarding the type of weapons procured, stressing that most of the weapons procured were “unserviceable and useless,” the Nation reports.
The report quoted a source as saying that the Jonathan administration bought three fairly used Alpha Jets for the Nigerian Air Force and two helicopters which were “not worth anything because they were not weaponised and the helicopters were cannibalized.”
According to the source, “The two aircraft are among the four Alpha Jets bought from the United States in 2015 by the immediate past administration to enhance the operational capability of the NAF to combat Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
“The aircraft, however, before now, could not be deployed in the theatre of operation due to the inherent weapon delivery deficiency, hence its limited use for training purposes.
“The urgent need in recent times to commit all NAF available platforms to OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE to enhance the success of the counter insurgency operation necessitated the Service to look inward to seek ways of achieving its drive for self reliance through research and development.
“A number of vendors invited to Nigeria to assess the platforms had concluded that it would be difficult or almost impossible to undertake the project since the Original Equipment Manufacturer had long closed down the production line.
“A few others who agreed to the possibility of having the aircraft reconfigured to carry munitions have also submitted proposals for initial assessment fee ranging from $20,000 – $30,000 before they could come up with the actual cost for the project.
“Convinced that the project would work, the NAF consequently assembled a team of technicians to develop a feasible model for the project. The model worked on ground, and has since been mounted on the Alpha Jets, and test flown successfully. This feat is a major research and development breakthrough for the NAF and the nation as a huge foreign exchange saver, given that the project only cost about N4,000,000.00 compared to what would be required to have it done abroad.”