Reports have emerged that 13 retired military chiefs out of the 19 who are to be probed are willing to refund N1 trillion to the federal government as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
The arms purchase probe panel, which was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe contracts executed during the administrations of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to former President Goodluck Jonathan, has started sitting with no less than 13 allegedly indicted retired generals opting for a plea bargain.
A highly placed defense source said that the retired generals numbering 13 out of the 19 that are to be quizzed by the panel have already approached some members of the panel for amicable settlement of the matter than appearing before the panel.
The security source further added that the 13 retired military chiefs are willing to refund N1 trillion to the federal government as part of the plea bargain arrangement.
The source added that the chairman of the probe panel is yet to take a decision on the proposal given to him by the affected indicted generals. Not fewer than 19 former military chiefs are to be quizzed by the panel.
They are five Chiefs of Defense Staff, 14 Service Chiefs; four National Security Advisers, NSAs and eight former Ministers of Defense.
The probe has created panic among retired military chiefs who coordinated arms purchases in the last eight years.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday learnt that five Israelis, who played major roles in arms procurement for the military, in the last six years, are to be invited by the committee, whose members were named on Monday after President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.
The Israelis reportedly left the country on the eve of the general elections, but will be summoned by the probe panel to appear before it.
The government has directed that tight security be provided for members of the panel. The assignment is comprehensive. It will run through many administrations.
“The probe will require looking into the administrations of five Chiefs of Defense Staff, 14 Service Chiefs; four National Security Advisers and eight former ministers.
“It is a Herculean task,” the source further added.