Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to probe potential corruptions of the previous government led by Goodluck Jonathan, especially $9.7 million of arms deal with South Africa, according to Nigerian media sources.
“What actually went wrong with the $9.7M arms deal? Why was the cash flown to South Africa from Nigeria? Was the money, which South Africa impounded, actually meant for arms purchase?” Buhari asked.
“These are some of the questions which will soon be answered,” he added.
Although the previous government claimed that the money was spent to purchase arms from private companies in South Africa, the way money was delivered has arisen reactions.
The money had been taken to South Africa by private jets under the detection of Federal Government agents.
The two Nigerians and an Israeli were arrested at the Lanseria International Airport, Johannesburg, on Sept. 5 in a private jet from Abuja.
The South African authorities froze $9.3 million transported in cash by two Nigerians and an Israeli for arms purchase. At the time, South Africa said the transaction violated its laws on movement of cash.
“I will attempt to ask him [President Zuma] about our $9.7 million which was not correctly transferred,” Buhari told Nigerians in South Africa during a meeting with them in Johannesburg to round off his visit to the country for the African Union (AU) Summit.
He said: “I’m told there are 83 Nigerians in prisons, I don’t know what they have done but I spoke to the president of South Africa this afternoon. He wants to come to Nigeria. There are issues we will talk about, I will certainly talk to him, I hope our ambassador will send a comprehensive report about the court cases, about those who lost properties during the disturbances.”
Nigerian president has also promised to take actions for a more sustainable economy.
He said: “Government is determined to secure the country, manage the economy, create employment and fight corruption. Some articulate writers have said if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. This APC administration intends to kill corruption in Nigeria. We will do our best, I assure you.”
Warning all Nigerian people who live in South Africa to be a part of community, Buhari urged them to represent their country worthily.
“Those of you who have the opportunity to come here and represent us, make sure that you are representing Nigeria, you are all ambassadors of Nigeria. This means a lot of patience, restraint, self-respect and pride. You must have all these,” the president said.
Referring to recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa against Nigerian people, the Consul General of Nigeria in South Africa, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke, told President Buhari that 143 Nigerians were killed in South Africa between 2011 and 2014; 81 were in Johannesburg prison.
“Out of this 81 Nigerians, 21 have been convicted,” she said,
Ajulu-Okeke also disclosed that shops and other property worth millions of Rands belonging to Nigerians were destroyed during the recent xenophobic attacks.
The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, congratulated Buhari on his election and inauguration, saying “Your victory is victory over poverty, hunger and signals hope for the common man.”
Ayene urged the president to facilitate compensation for Nigerians affected by the xenophobic attacks.