It was a dramatic scene yesterday April 13 at House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on arms and ammunition when the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru appeared before them as part of the investigation into arms purchase by the military.
Ibrahim Attahiru refused to speak on arms procurement after presenting a document to the committee.
According to the COAS, he just resumed office and the issues surrounding the procurement of arms should be answered by the “specific individuals” who initiated the purchase.
“The submission before you speaks to the report before you. It is an executive summary. It is very self-explanatory to the extent that it has been pluralised. When you demanded this report, you stated a specific period for which you wanted it.
“You may wish to recall that the Chief of Army Staff took over the mantle of leadership barely two months ago.
“The period for which you want this report having been summarised in the executive summary explained whatever details you require.
“Issues of arms procurement that you so demand to know were done by specific individuals, I will rather you call these individuals to explain to you very specific issues the general explanation is contained in this report.”
A member of the committee, Ejiro Ogene had also faulted the COAS explanation for not appearing before the committee earlier.
“When we ask you to come, the people are the ones speaking, sovereignty lies in the people; if we see it like this, things will be different.
“I expect that the COAS tenders an apology, not an explanation; you are serving the people and they are as your employer.”
Firing back at him, Attahiru insisted that his explanation serves as an apology. He said;
“When you say I offered an explanation, it is as good as an apology. It only tells you the reasons why I wasn’t here and the reasons are pungent enough.”
Following the rising tension at the proceeding, Chairman of the Committee Olaide Akinremi ruled that the hearing goes into a closed-door meeting and the media were asked to leave the hearing.