Monday, November 17, 2014

$1bn loan FG borrowed to fight Boko Haram may be diverted for elections - Femi Falana raises alarm

Femi Falana

Rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana on Saturday expressed fear that the $1bn loan the Federal Government demanded to tackle insurgency in the northeastern part of the country, may be diverted for the 2015 elections.

He said this during a national symposium to commemorate the first memorial anniversary of late Pro-National Conference co-founder, Baba Omojola.

"The money that has been voted for defence of our dear country in the last five years is N4tn. This year alone, it is N968bn. The president has come back for a loan of $1bn which is about N177bn added to N968bn in one year. That is over a trillion naira. At the end of the day, our soldiers are being sent to the war front having no weapon to fight.

"As of yesterday, the $1bn has not been processed, so if we are not careful the money is going to be diverted to fund the forthcoming general elections."

Falana, who is the defence lawyer of some of the military officers standing trial for mutiny, said his interaction with the officers showed they were too ill equipped to face the superior firepower of the insurgents.

"As for the boys they accused of mutiny, when I spoke with them, they said, 'oga , we are not guilty of mutiny. We want to fight and die for this country, but there is no equipment. They are asking us to face the Boko Haram sect that has sophisticated weapons. We are simply being asked to commit suicide and that is why we say we have the right to life. We don't want to die cheaply'," he said.

He added that the Nigeria military, as presently constituted, could not liberate the country from the grip of the terrorists.

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