A new report released by American based Transparency International (TI) has provided strategic lead into the ongoing probe of how former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki spent over N2.1 billion in his care during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
New report from the AFP said Court documents show SEI signed off on the purchase of six Mi-24 and Mi-35 helicopters from Dolarian for $25m each, which Wezeman said was far above their normal value of $5m each.
According to the details, Pieter Wezeman, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said Dolarian’s deal with Aboubakar and his company Societe d’Equipments Internationaux (SEI) “rings alarm bells”.
Dasuki has been accused of orchestrating a sprawling embezzlement scheme that saw “phantom contracts” awarded for personal and political gain.
The scale of the alleged scam and how officials apparently exploited the insurgency shocked even Nigerians wearily familiar with corruption scandals.
Dasuki and scores of other defence officials were arrested and put on trial. Buhari’s government then went after procurement firms.
Last year, a committee set up by Buhari said SEI played a “major” role in the alleged scam after being awarded nearly $1 billion worth of contracts “characterised by irregularity and fraud”.
SEI deals appear in many ongoing corruption cases in Nigeria.
Two top air force officials are charged with bribery for accepting cash and a Range Rover from the company.
Aboubakar who has not been charged AFP that “We continue to work with the Nigerian army. Forget about what the people say, they lie.”
Aboubakar, a national of Niger, claimed the US arms dealer failed to ship $8.6 million worth of bombs and rockets, damaging his reputation as “a trusted arms supplier to the Nigerian military”.
Dolarian alleges in court documents that he was unwittingly caught up in a “money laundering scheme” and that Aboubakar’s arms money was “stolen from the Nigerian government”.
Campaign group, Transparency International had described corruption in the defence procurement sector as “the new diesel for Nigeria’s kleptocrats”.
It estimated that more than $15bn has been stolen, “leaving the military without vital equipment, insufficiently trained, low in morale and under-resourced”.
“This has crippled the Nigerian military,” it added in a new report published on Thursday, which defence spokesman John Enenche rejected and described as “a sweeping allegation”.
The defence ministry now did “government-to-government” deals and no longer used contractors, he added.
The court battle between Dalorian and Aboubakar some 12,500 kilometres (8,000 miles) from Abuja offers a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of the arms trade.
It could also shed light on how an alleged multi-billion-dollar fraud in the office of former national security advisor Sambo Dasuki might have taken place.