By: Janet Samuel, Abuja
An Organization, Corruption Track Network (CTN) has demanded that a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, and his wife, the current Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajia Sadiya Umar Faruq should respond to numerous allegations against them.
The allegations, CTN noted ranges from corruption, human rights abuses, unlawful recruitment and arming of youths in Bauchi State as well as extrajudicial killings that took place under his watch as Chief of Air Staff.
A statement by the Country Director of CTN, Dr. Idris Inusa confirmed that the organisation is in reciept of several allegations levelled against the retired military officer which are viewed globally as major components of crime against humanity and a threat to the society.
Some of the allegations CTN has being tracking include: That as a one time Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique was enmeshed in a series of corruption allegations including abuse of power and multiple diversion of funds meant for procurement of military hardware and allowances for personnel of the Armed Forces.
That during Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique’s tenure as Chief of Air Staff, soldiers under his command killed defenceless Nigerians without cause and in violation of every known domestic and international laws and conventions. Airstrikes in war zones across the country frequently resulted in civilian deaths. The casualty figure during his five years tenure were massive.
At least seven recorded instances of the NAF hitting the wrong targets between 2014 and late 2020 exist, including the 2017 bombardment of the Rann Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Borno State. The incident claimed the lives of at least 160 victims, many of whom were children.
In Borno in 2020, a fighter jet hit Sakotoku hamlet, killing about 17 people—including children. At least 176 Nigerians have died as a result of these incidents, and hundreds more have been hurt.
Additionally, there have been instances of NAF bombings in the South-West and South-East, especially among those thought to be Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members. These “accidental” bombings also claimed the lives of ground forces.
In addition to the airstrikes, CTN has tracked several misbehavior, sleaze, and corruption charges against Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique. He was alleged to have giving some robbers N20 million in 2021 in exchange for a 12.7 calibre anti-aircraft gun.
Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, had revealed that funds running into billions of naira meant for procuring arms and ammunition under the past service chiefs, including Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, were unaccounted for. Sadique was replaced as Chief of Air Staff on January 26, 2021.
Corruption Track Network (CTN) also thinks that Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique’s wife who is the current minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Umar needs to address corruption charges against her.
Our corruption tracking reveals that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has been as a cesspool of corruption, lacking transparency and accountability, with hundreds of billions unaccounted for under the leadership of the Hajia Sadiya Umar who incidentally is the pioneer minister in the newly created ministry.
We are in possession of several petitions written to law enforcement agencies including the Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC as well as attempt by some individuals and groups to seek the cooperation of this Air Force Chief and his wife, a cabinet member, all to no avail.
CTN noted that proceeds from these corrupt acts by the duo of Abubakar Sadique and Sadiya Umar have been deployed towards securing electoral victory at the gubernatorial elections in Bauchi State.
As part of the former Air Force Chief who is the APC governorship candidate in Bauchi State, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique and the APC’s electioneering strategies to win the 2023 governorship election in the state, about 1,000 militants and political thugs are believed to have been recruited and armed ahead of the 2023 election in the state.
That a colossal amount of monies have been earmarked for this purpose for vote buying and other acts such as compromising officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies that will form part of the electoral process.
CTN is alarmed at such a flagrant display of ill-gotten wealth by the Abubakar Sadique and Sadiya Umar duo, which by all indications is above their remuneration as public officers. The implication is that the duo has amassed public funds through corrupt practices by virtue of the offices they occupied, which is indeed an economic and financial crime.
The Corruption Track Network is demanding that the duo of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, and his wife, the current minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Umar should present themselves within two week as an ultimatum to respond to these huge allegations levelled against them without which we will approach the courts for criminal prosecution of the retired Air Force officer and his wife.
That the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to revisit the various corruption allegation levelled against Sadique while he was Chief of Air Staff, running into billions of naira meant for arms purchase in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in the country; various killings of defenceless Nigerians without cause under his command; allegation of giving robbers N20 million in 2021 in exchange for a 12.7 calibre anti-aircraft gun.
That the anti-graft agency must also probe the finances of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs since Umar assumed leadership of the ministry.
Specifically, the National Social Investment Program, NPOWER, the National Home Grown School Feeding Program, and other social interventions under the supervision of her ministry during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, including how the N2.67bn meant for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown ended up in private bank accounts, and payments of N729bn to 24.3 million to poor Nigerians.
The CTN will in expiration of the two weeks ultimatum explore other options to bring the duo to account for their activities as public servants including seeking the audience of the international community.