Former Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah (rtd), has been charged over alleged arms deal fraud at an Abuja Federal High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Anti-Graft Agency alleged that the Chief of Army Staff during the Administration of Goodluck Jonathan illegally diverted N13.8 billion, meant for arms procurement. 

Former Chief of Accounts and Budget, Nigerian Army, Adetayo A.O, and former Director, Finance and Accounts of the Nigerian Army, Odi R.I were also joined in the suit.

The Anti-Graft body said the indictment is based on a report of the Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces, spanning from 2007 to 2015.

The report of the Committe alleged that from 2010 to 2015, "Several billions of Naira were received by the Nigerian Army from the Federal Government for procurement of military hard-wares and were discovered to have been misappropriated by senior Army Officers. The Defendants, according to the report, misappropriated the sum of N13,798,619,309."

“The sums were transferred from various accounts belonging to the Nigerian Army and moved to company Accounts of entities that had no business relations with the Nigerian Army,” the statement from EFCC read in part. 

“This caused huge loss to the Nigerian army and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the unlawful gains made by the aforementioned officers who converted the monies for their personal use.

"The legal advice on the investigation opined that a prima facie case has been sustained against the Officers", according to the same statement.

However, the defendants, through their lawyer, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, consequently filed a suit before an Abuja Federal Court challenging the legality of the suit by EFCC.

The legal team challenged the suit and prayed the court to establish that the Plaintiffs are subject to be charged, arraigned or prosecuted only by a court martial as a court of first instance.

The Court gave all the parties Twenty One days to file their pleadings, even as it okayed the matter for hearing.

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