Nigeria Govt Indicts Firms Over Arms Fraud Contracts

Nigeria has indicted more than 300 local and foreign companies and individuals, including senior military officers, over an arms scandal.

They are accused of defrauding the country of $241m (£170m) in fake contracts, a government statement says.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a probe last year after funds meant to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram militants were allegedly diverted.

More than $35m has been recovered in the investigation so far.

The contracts were awarded by the office of the national security adviser from 2011 until 2015, the statement from the office of the president says.

It lists all the companies and individuals indicted including former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, who is facing separate fraud charges linked to the arms scandal.

Mr Dasuki, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, has previously denied the allegations of corruption in relation to phantom contracts.

The investigation was done by a special committee appointed President Buhari, who came to office in May partly on a promise to clamp down on corruption.

The committee found that contracts were awarded “without any contractual agreement or evidence of jobs executed”, the statement says.

It gave an example of how one of the companies, Societe D’Equipement International, “was overpaid to the tune of $8.9m and $7m”.

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