Arms Deal: APC Insists US $9.3 Million South African Transaction Is ShadyFeatured, Latest News, News, Politics Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed the PDP- led Federal Government for its insulting and disingenuous explanations, insisting the US$9.3 million cash-for-arms deal in South Africa is shady.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said the deal violated the foreign currency laws of Nigeria and South Africa; the Nigeria’s Money Laundering law as well as the Public Procurement Act and contradicted the Federal Government’s cashless policy.
Similarly, the party stated, all the circumstances surrounding the transaction were umbrageous, including the funds involved, though in cash, were neither declared before departure from Nigeria nor declared on arrival in South Africa.
”Based on these shady circumstances, one can safely conclude that the arms to be procured, if at all, were not meant for any Boko Haram fight as claimed by the government but perhaps a ploy to stockpile arms for the private militia of the PDP ahead of next year’s general elections.
”As we said in our earlier statements on this issue, the office of the NSA cannot and does not procure arms for the armed services. These services procure their own weapons. Therefore, it baffles that the office of the NSA issued the end-user certificate for the transactions. This is a shady deal,” APC maintained.
Contending further, the opposition party asserted that the deal was shady as it accused the Federal Government to have bluntly refused to answer some questions in connection with the ill-fated deal, including why a private plane was used for a supposedly-official deal when there are over 10 aircrafts in the Presidential Fleet.
Nigerians, the statement pointed out were also eager to know why the money for the purchase of the arms was not transferred to the country’s Embassy in South Africa for onward transfer to the contractor, if indeed a contractor was used as claimed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the money transferred directly to the contractor, and why the Nigerian government chose to deal with an arms contractor with questionable registration in South Africa.
”If indeed the transaction was clean and official, which representatives of the office of the NSA and the Chief of Defence Staff were on the dollar-ferrying plane? Who indeed was the arms meant for? And perhaps the most important information of all: Who and who were on the plane?,” APC demanded.
The party as it has established previously held that Nigerians were keen on the identities of those aboard the plane “rather than who was not on it”, while cautioned the FG to stop hiding behind ‘national security’ and do needful.
The party restated irrespective of the feverish moves by the FG, using less-than-sincere officials, to spin the whole shady deal and make it look clean and official, it was very that terrorists could not have been engaged in a shadier and more crooked deal to obtain weapons.
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