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Aboubakar Hima defrauded Nigeria of arms funds in past administration, not in Buhari’s govt

Written by on July 8, 2021

6 mins read 

Claim:  A viral message on social media claims that Buhari’s regime declared a foreign national from Niger wanted for defrauding Nigeria of arms funds approximately $400 million, N400 million and €10 million.

Verdict: While it is true that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have declared a Nigerien wanted for defrauding Nigeria of arms funds, it is not true that the deal took place under President Buhari’s regime and the exact amount of the deal is $394million, €9.9million, and N369 Million.  So, this information is misleading.

Full Text

The Chief Executive Officer of Societe D`Equipment Internationaux (SEI), Aboubakar Hima, a military contractor and Niger Republic citizen, was declared wanted, in July 2020, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), in a case of criminal conspiracy, contract scam, misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and fraud.

The EFCC alleged that Aboubakar, received the funds for the purchase of equipment for the Nigerian military and that 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.

Recently, a viral message surfaced on Whatsapp claiming that Buhari’s regime declared a foreign national from Niger wanted for defrauding Nigeria of arms funds in the amounts of approximately $400 million, N400 million and €10 million.

It reads: ” No one has been fired or prosecuted for this mega fraud. The service chiefs under whom this mega looting occurred have been rewarded with ambassadorial appointments. The National Security Adviser is still in office”.

The link below the post directed Dubawa to a Facebook page called US Nigeria Law Group that published the story on the 3rd of July with 44 comments and 295 shares.

Verification

Dubawa first checked EFCC website to confirm the authenticity of the message, and it revealed that Aboubakar Hima was actually declared wanted but it was for a case of criminal conspiracy, contract scam, misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and fraud to the tune of $394 million, €9.9 million and N369 million, not $400 million, N400 million and €10 million as claimed by the message.

Dubawa went further to run a word search and  discovered that the arms procurement saga started in 2015 when president Muhammedu Buhari came into power, and ordered the investigation.

Barely three months after he assumed office in 2015, Buhari inaugurated a 13-man panel to probe the procurement of arms and related military contracts between 2007 and 2015, the panel ordered the arrest of the National Security Advisor under president Goodluck Jonathan (June 2012 – July 2015) Col. (retd.) Sambo Dasuki; who was allegedly the lynchpin in the saga, on the 17th  November 2015

The panel said in a report that between 2007 and 2015, there had been ‘extra-budgetary interventions’ for arms procurement, However, very little arms was obtained.

The actual saga took place under the rule of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government of President Umaru Yar’Adua, who ruled from 2007 until his death in 2010, and Goodluck Jonathan, Yar’Adua’s vice president, took over in 2007 and subsequently won re-election in 2011.

Dasuki, from March 2012 to March 2015, effectively controlled military procurement during his period in office with no supervision and virtually no input from the Ministry of Defence, so it is not during Buhari’s regime, nor the service chiefs that were rewarded with ambassadorial appointments, and not the current National Security Adviser.

Conclusion

While it is true that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have declared a Nigerien wanted for defrauding Nigeria of arms funds, it is not true that the deal took place under President Buhari’s regime and the exact amount of the deal is $394million, €9.9million, and N369 Million.  So, this information is misleading.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country


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