Nigeria’s Buhari orders arrest of former national security adviser

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari orders arrest of former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki for alleged money laundering

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki (R) arrives with one of his counsels Ahmed Raji at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the arrest of the former national security adviser, for hampering the fight against Boko Haram and allegedly stealing about $2 billion, the presidency office said.

The arrest order was part of the campaign promise made by Buhari, who won Nigeria's presidential elections in March and assumed office in May.

Buhari's office said former security adviser Sambo Dasuki had "awarded fictitious and phantom contracts" cost around $2 billion for military jets, helicopters and weapons for the fight Boko Haram terrorist which were never delivered.

The report from the presidency also said, Dasuki had also requested the central bank of Nigeria to transfer more than $140 million to foreign accounts in Britain, the United States and West Africa "without any contract documents."

During Buhari's predecessor Goodluck Jonathan term in office, Boko Haram took control of parts of Nigeria's northeast where it is trying to create Islamic caliphate.

"Had the funds siphoned ... been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided," the presidency said late on Tuesday.

Dasuki has not immediately responded to the allegation.

The Nigerian defence ministry was generally in charge of the arm procurement, but its inability to deliver on time prompted Jonathan to shift the task to the National Security Advisor in September last year.

Top military sources complained the army lacked sophisticated weapons to fight Boko Haram with many of them refusing to confront the insurgents.

In recent time, Nigeria's NSA had to seek arms and ammunition from a wide range of foreign countries as some western states, where equipment was sought previously, were concerned with possible human rights abuses on civilians.   

Large ammunitions finally arrived early this year and were very effective in the fight against Boko Haram, according to diplomats.

This year, Nigeria, backed by joint military operations from neighbor countries, was able to recapture much of the territory lost to Boko Haram and destroy several camps though suicide bombings remain to be part of daily life in the north of the country.

At least 17,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram since 2009. At least 1000 people have been killed in Nigeria alone since President Muhammadu Buhari's inauguration at the end of May.

President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to eliminate Boko Haram before the end of December, this year. 

TRTWorld and agencies