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Jonathan Denies Allegedly $2M Arms Procurement Contract

goodluck-jonathanFormer President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has described as mere lies, the allegation that his administration awarded a contranct worth two million dollars for arms procurement.
The immediate past president said this on Friday during a conversational forum with the theme “Presidential elections and democratic consolidation in Africa: Case studies on Nigeria and Tanzania”, co-hosted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, on Friday.
Jonathan while speaking said “I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons,” Jonathan said at the forum. “Where did the money come from?”
At the forum moderated by USIP Senior Advisor to the US President and member, NDI Board of Directors, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the former President also discussed the recent political transition in Nigeria, as well as the prospects for improved governance in the country.
A presidential investigations committee into arms procurement under Jonathan’s presidency had revealed in its interim report, an extra-budgetary spending by the Jonathan administration to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional $2.2 billion in the foreign currency component, all managed and supervised by ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
But Dasuki had refuted the allegation in a statement Wednesday, maintaining that all contracts and accruing payments were made based on the approval of ex-President Jonathan.
He had added that due process and military procurement regulations were followed in all the transactions.
“Nigerians should note that all the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment,” Dasuki had said.
The former president’s argument is in-line with Dasuki’s statement, suggesting that the claims by the Buhari administration were false and unsubstantiated.
Jonathan touched on the contract issue after he stated that he was aware of allegations of huge sums of money that were said to be missing from the Nigerian treasury, but he claimed that some of the figures mentioned are not believable. “Sometimes, I feel sad when people mention these figures,” he added.
Speaking pointedly about his successor, President Jonathan said, “When the President (Buhari) paid official visit to the US, there were some figures that were mentioned that I don’t believe.”
He drew attention to figures like the $150billion alleged to have been stolen in previous Nigerian administrations. He said there is no way such amount of money would be missing without the knowledge of the US government. However he drew solace from the fact that his successor didn’t accused his administration of stealing the funds.
“He didn’t say my government, he said previous administrations… “$150 billion is not 150 billion Naira,” he stated, suggesting that “People play politics with very serious issues.”
He also dismissed the allegation that $59.8 million was mismanaged within a 12-month period while he was in office.
“In Nigeria, if you lose $59.8 million in a year, federal and state governments will not pay salaries,” he said, adding that there is no way Nigerian budget can accommodate such a loss without the country coming to a standstill.
“Of course we brought international audit teams, forensic auditors and they didn’t see that,” Jonathan said.
He, however, disclosed that “I wanted to keep away from the public for at least twelve months.”

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