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DSS arrests former Chief of Army Staff Azubuike Ihejirika

By The Rainbow
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The Department of State Security has  reportedly arrested the erstwhile chief of army staff   Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika.

According, the former army chief was arrested Tuesday night by the operatives of the Nigerian secret police in his residence in Maitama Abuja.

His arrested  is said to be  in connection with arms deal probe involving former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.

The Presidential Committee on Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces had earlier on Monday  invited Ihejiriika and two other former Chiefs of Army Staff  – Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah.

The Nation reported Tuesday that arms scandal panel  had also summoned over 292 serving and retired top officers who worked with the three former Army chiefs. The panel was quoted as saying that the invitation was in line with its mandate to look into procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment from 2007 to 2015.

The committee, with the mandate to probe procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment from 2007 to 2015, has also asked more than 10 local and foreign companies, including the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria to appear before it.

Chairman of the committee, Air Vice Marshal Jon Ode, had asked the Nigerian Army Headquarters to direct all the officers to be present at the panel.

The panel's letter to the Army Headquarters said: “The invitees are required to clarify issues arising from procurement between 2007 and 2015 before the committee sitting at the ONSA daily.

“AHQ is required to cause the appearance of the senior officers and CEOs of the companies before the committee on dates stated against their names. Your cooperation will be most appreciated.”

Procurement overheads to be probed include ammunition for Darfur operation, supply of training kits and equipment; purchase of 16MG and 29 RPG and 10Grenade Launchers; repair of seven assault craft; repair service and upgrade of 29 Suncraft ; purchase of 15 Freefall Parachutes; buying of MRAP vehicles with maintenace containers; order of Radio Technologies Equipment; purchase of 10 APCs by DICON; 51 GPMG and sustenance of Operation Zaman Lafiya; emergency procurement of Combat Equipment for Ongoing Ops; Operation Internal Security; Quick Response Group and Forward Operation Bases; HE Type Mortal and purchase of Bullet Proof Vests.

Some of the retired officers invited are former Commander of the Army Finance Corps, Maj-Gen Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Edo State; former Corps Commander, Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps, Lagos , Maj.-Gen. Olayemi Abidoye; ex-Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, Major General E. E. Bassey; former General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division, Major General Jack Okechukwu Nwaogbo; former Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Major General M.A. Yerima; former Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, Major General O Akinyemi; former Commandant, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps (NAOC)Major-General A. A. Martins; ex-GOC 3 Amoured Div, Maj.Gen. AB Marwa; and former Chief of Policy and Plans at Army headquarters, Major General A. Atofarati.

Others include former Commandant, Army Finance Corps, Gen. A.I. Muraina; ex- Directing Staff, National Defence College, Maj-Gen. Christian Onuorah Ugwu; former Director-General, Defence Industries Corporation (DICON), Maj.-Gen. Ekwenugo Chioba; former Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, Major General Essien Bassey; former Chief of Logistics at the Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Daniel Kitchener; and former Defence Attaché at the Nigerian Embassy in Pakistan, Maj.-Gen. Daniel Kitchener.

Some of the local and foreign firms slated for interaction, alongside their Chief Executive Officers, are DICON; Streit Group; China North Industries; Suncraft International Inc; Shangai L Electronics; Poly Trechnologies Inc; NRTC Pakistan; Kennedy Logistics; DYS Global Service Limited; Driveline System; Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria Ltd; Oraco Trade Link Limited and M/S Jatori.

Although some serving Army Generals are expected to appear before the panel, their names are being kept under wraps “for strategic reasons”