Ex-military chiefs are being investigated for stealing security funds.

According to Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, some former military chiefs are being investigated for fraud (ICPC).

Mr Owasanoye made the revelation while discussing how grand theft of security funds by military chiefs was fueling insecurity across the country. 

“At first glance, insecurity appears to be, and is sometimes treated as, a matter requiring only a military response or reaction,” Mr Owasanoye said at a “Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria” in Abuja on Friday.

Mr Owasanoye stated that “some former military and security personnel are being investigated by ICPC and our sister agency for embezzlement of funds allocated to security,” citing cases of massive looting of funds by military top brass. 

“In addition, there are ongoing investigations into military contract spending.” Recently, the ICPC arrested a military contractor who received a total of about N6 billion from the Nigerian Army under suspicious circumstances and in violation of existing legislation over a period of less than ten years. 

“The Commission’s recovery of large sums of cash in local and foreign currencies, luxury cars, customized mobile phones, designer watches, including three Rolexes, as well as property documents from the contractor’s premises underscores the corruption that frequently occurs in military procurement,” Mr Owasanoye added.

Mr Owasanoye went on to say that “a former head of one of the military’s arms in the waning days of his tenure deposited N4 billion from the military budget into the accounts of two companies where he is the beneficial owner and sole signatory.” 

“The proceeds were used to buy Abuja real estate in the names of cronies and proxies.”

Some of the properties purchased with his service money were also fraudulently converted to his use. 

According to the ICPC Chairman, the ICPC’s prosecution of this high-ranking officer to recover all implicated assets was strangely and perversely thwarted by a recently retired High Court judge who decided to forfeit some of the assets to the FGN while leaving the rest to the suspect.

While the Commission has filed an appeal, this unusual development aggravates an already bad situation and increases insecurity and impunity, according to the anti-graft chief.