The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged President Muhammadu Buhari as a matter of urgent need to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the spending of defence and military budgets between 1999 and 2018 in order to promote transparency and accountability in the sector.

SERAP, in a statement by its senior legal adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju, said this was needed in order to ensure that the funds meant for military operation were spent for that purpose.

It also said it would help end the vulnerability and killings of Nigerian soldiers such as the reported death of several soldiers in the recent Metele Boko Haram attack.

It also urged Buhari to refer to the International Criminal Court “pursuant to article 13 of the Rome Statute, all allegations of corruption in the spending of funds meant to purchase arms to empower Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram, including the apparent diversion and sharing of the over $2 billion under the former government of President Goodluck Jonathan and approved spending by your own government.”

SERAP also expressed concern that “several billions of naira allocated to the military to defend the country have neither contributed to improving the ability of Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor provided the much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of the country.”

It also stated that “More than 27,000 people are reported to have been killed in the many years of Islamist insurgency in the North-east of the country that has triggered a humanitarian crisis and left 1.8 million people without homes.”