Some former military chiefs are likely to be invited over some suspicious arms contracts.
They are among those indicted by the Presidential Committee on the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces, a source said.
The committee is ready with its report on arms deals in the Army.
The panel, headed by Air Vice Marshal JON Ode, is expected to submit its report this week to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The audit report on procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector covers 2007 to 2015.
Some former Chiefs of Army Staff may be asked to respond to some issues in the report.
Ahead of the submission of the report, the chairman of the panel on Friday met with the President on some recommendations and the detention of one of its members, Air Commodore Mohammed Umar(retd.)
Umar is said to be central to the breakthrough recorded by the panel on some high-profile fraud.
The Air Commodore was arrested on June 19 by the Department of State Service (DSS). About $1,030,000 was reportedly found at his residence in Maitama District, Abuja.
The DSS has been working on clues that Umar might have taken “advantage of his membership of the Arms Panel” to extort suspects.
But Umar insisted that the money was payment to his company, Easy Jet Integrated Service Limited, for cargo flights to Houston and Hong Kong.
He said the payment on 12 May 2016 was for: Cargo flight (Ilyusin II-76 cargo plane from Nairobi-Houston) at $520,000 and drop-off from Nairobi-Hong Kong at $510,000.
The DSS is, however, still probing Air Commodore Umar.
A source told our correspondent that the Ode Panel was ready with what he described as an “explosive” report.
The source, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, said: “Certainly, heads will roll as it was the case when a similar outcome was presented to the Presidency on the Nigerian Air Force.”
The source said the panel’s chairman met with the President in company of the National Security Adviser(NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd).
“I think the panel had issues with the DSS over the arrest of Air Commodore Umar who is said to be central to the bursting of high-profile arms scandals. He was worried that Umar’s detention had to do with plans by some forces planning to destroy the panel.
“He made known his intention and that of other panel members to abandon the work over what they termed the unfair treatment of Air Commodore Umar,” the source said, adding:
“You know these people have presented their report on Air Force on the basis of which Badeh and other Air Force chiefs are now on trial. They were preparing to submit this week that of the Army, which has indicted many people.
“The detention of Umar was seen by the panel as part of a sinister ploy to get at the committee and rubbish all that we have done. And the Air Commodore, being a key member of the committee, knows too much and has a lot of documents that aided our work. That is why some are jittery.”
“Umar was instrumental to the early success of the committee as he used his personal money to hire foreign experts on forensics and arms procurement to help the committee in unearthing alleged frauds committed over the years.”
Apart from the chairman of the panel, some senior government officials and other individuals close to the President are said to have been angered by what they called “shabby and disgraceful treatment meted out to Umar for no just cause and allegations that cannot be proven”.
A delegation of five governors led by Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, was said to have met President Buhari on Thursday to complain about the travails of the retired military officer and the implications of what they called “the power game” on the government.
Some of the items recovered by the DSS from the residence of the Air Commodore on June 19, 2016 are 13 vehicles; various denominations of both foreign and local currencies; one bag containing documents; one Black Star Express bag containing documents; a laptop; a document containing details of disbursements made by the Armed Forces and security agencies, Volume 1-3; document on contract for Niger Armec EE Niger; document on Nigerian Air Force Holding Company(NAFHC) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria; two files of Nigerian Air Force Properties Limited documents; and one file of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Also listed are two Pump Action guns.
The DSS has filed a First Information Report (FIR) with a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Abuja on Air Commodore Umar to ensure that his detention is in line with the law.
Umar is undergoing investigation for alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
The FIR reads in part: “Illegal possession of firearms and money laundering contrary to Section 27(1) (b) (i) of the Firearms Act Cap. F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 15(1) (d) (e) of the Money Laundering Act Cap. M18 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“Enquiries by the State Security Service revealed that Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd) has in his possession two Pump Action guns with Serial Numbers 09/1573 and 397 without a valid licence and large sums of money in local and foreign currencies suggestive of the fact that he received the said monies in contravention of the Money Laundering Act.”
A document sighted by our correspondent revealed that the FCT police on March 10, 2000 granted Mohammed the gun licence in line with The Firearms Act of 1958.
The gun is described as SBSG, 12 Calibre or Bore, made by Magnum with No. 397. The ammunition is cartridge with 100 rounds.
The licence reads: “Licence is hereby granted Air Commodore Mohammed Umar of House No. 4 Lundi Close, off Missisipi Road, Maitama, Abuja to possess and bear the firearm described in the Schedule hereunder. The licence is issued subject to the following terms: Hunting and Gaming. The licence is valid until 31st December, 2010.”
The licence was for a period of 10 years; it was not immediately clear why Umar did not renew it.
He ran into trouble with the DSS for not renewing the said licence.
A source gave an insight into the investigation of Air Commodore Umar by the DSS.
He said: “Air Commodore Umar was a known face in Aso Rock from the time of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua up to the twilight of Jonathan administration.
“A very close ally of Isa Yuguda during the inglorious days of the Cabal operating in the Presidency in the absence of an incapacitated late President Umaru Yar’Adua, under the Buhari administration, he has struck a blossoming partnership with a top security chief.
“There is also pressure on investigators to question him as to how he got the money to float Easy Jet as an Air Commodore?
“An equally important question is why keeping government documentary evidence in personal abode?”
The source spoke of “a cabal fraternising with close aides of the President while also going around to drop the President’s name for favour-seekers.
“The activities of the cabal are gradually becoming an embarrassment to the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari-led administration.”
The cabal is said to have turned the home of a member of the arms probe panel into a “trial-before-trial” meeting place.
“It will be recalled that former Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu retuned N2.3b to the Federal Government. The EFCC also seized houses belonging to Mr. Amosu worth over N500m, in addition to $140,000 USD in cash with an additional N381m seized from Mr. Amosu’s wife.
“The cabal’s tentacles are growing by the day and might be bigger than what was experienced under any administration in Nigeria.
“The latest onslaught was unleashed on the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who has been considered a threat to the cabal’s operations. He has been targeted and silenced with a view to successfully isolating the Presidency. Kyari has been side-lined.
But there were rumours last night over plans to save Umar.
A security source said: “Insiders also squealed that an independent team of investigators would be raised to establish the veracity of all allegations against Mohammed Umar.
“This proposed move is to forestall a scandal of unimaginable proportions which could threaten the success of Buhari’s anti-corruption war.”
A source close to Umar debunked all the allegations and described them as baseless.
He said: “These allegations are like wild goose chase. One, how can a person with unblemished military career like Air Cmdr Umar and who is close to the President be accused of terrorism financing? Which terrorists? And because that cannot fly they changed the music.
“The two pump action guns they picked from his house were registered when he procured them in the year 2000. The licence is there. And how can you say someone who has business interests all over the world cannot be found in possession of foreign currencies?
“Air Commodore Umar travels widely. He is a friend of several heads of governments across the world and his two companies, Easy Jet and African Energy, have business interests the world over. And the cars that they found there are vehicles that he bought over the years; some 10 some, some eight, some five years.”