Secret documents relating to a scandalously inflated $500 million defense contract that President Goodluck Jonathan awarded to Arthur Eze, have been obtained.
Mr. Eze is a well-known Nigerian businessman, a close friend of the president, and a major financier of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sahara Reporters informs.
Some military sources also opined that the contract was saddled with the procurement of helicopters for the Nigerian military.
The documents below reveal that Mr. Eze, the chief executive of Triax Nigeria Limited, received the gigantic sum of $466.5 million in order to militarize six Puma helicopters with the aid of an Israeli company named Elbit Systems. This meant that each of such helicopters costs around $78 million.
“For the price of each helicopter provided by Engineer Arthur Eze, the Air Force could have acquired seven top grade military helicopters,” said one of sources.
One of the same edition’s sources have even accused President Jonathan and Mr. Eze of using the refusal of the US to sell Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria as a reason to engage in a large-scale squandering of funds involving the Federal Government and Mr. Eze’s company, the Triax Company Nigeria Limited.
“In the US, a brand new AH Cobra attack helicopter costs around $12 million each,” said the source, adding: “That means that, with $400 million, Nigeria could have purchased up to 40 brand new helicopters.”
According to the source, the Cobra attack helicopter is one of the best US-made helicopters. “It is highly effective in the battlefield. It would have given us big battlefield advantage over Boko Haram,” he said.
In an additional proposal, Mr. Eze’s company sought to purchase 4,000 57mm S5 rockets, 400 80mm S8 rockets, 500 general-purpose bombs, and 20,000 units of unguided rockets.
Arthur Eze’s invoice
Arthur Eze’s invoice
To be mentioned, Mr. Eze is one of the biggest personal financiers of Mr. Jonathan’s re-election. The businessman, who also controls huge interests in oil fields both in Nigeria and other West African countries, has been investing millions of dollars into Jonathan’s campaign, said an insider PDP source.
During the administration led by the late General Sani Abacha, Mr. Eze became one of the confidantes of the general and his wife. He received a huge windfall when Mr. Abacha handed him the $120 million contract for rural electricity and water projects in the southeastern states. Even though the contract sum was borrowed from the African Development Bank, Mr. Eze pocketed the money without doing any of the projects, a scandal that led to the firing of the bank’s chief executive.