The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has stated that the Federal Government is not aware of any $875 million ammunition deal with the US which is being purportedly obstructed by some lawmakers in the States.
Lai Mohammed issued this disclaimer on Friday, July 30, during a press conference in Abuja. According to him, there is no contract of such nature and sum between Nigeria and the US.
He described the purported sale of the weapons as fake news.
Also, the Minister explained that apart from the 12 AH-I-Cobra attack helicopters of which Nigeria has taken delivery of six, the government is not aware of any contract as being speculated.
Lai Mohammed said the received AH-1- Cobra Attack helicopters would be launched sometime in August; adding that the Federal Government is “quite satisfied with the progress and cooperation; that we received from the government of the US on this issue”.
Various media reports had suggested that some influential U.S. lawmakers were obstructing a proposed sale of ammunition; and attack helicopters to Nigeria over allegations of human rights abuses; and anti-democratic actions of the present administration have been making the rounds.
These reports suggest that the blocked proposed sale includes 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters; accompanied by defence systems, 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation; and 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell.
Lai Mohammed however stated that the reports are false; emphasizing that “the relationship between Nigeria and the US is smooth and waxing stronger”.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has filed fresh charges against the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife; following discharge and acquittal of the leader by the state High Court.
1st News had reported that Justice Gideon Kurada on Wednesday discharged and acquitted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, from the eight charges pressed against them by the state government for lack of merit.
However, speaking on Friday, July 30, counsel to the state government, Dari Bayero, explained that fresh charges have been filed against El-Zakzaky; under the Treason and Treasonable Offences Act before a Federal High Court.
Bayero, who is also the state Director of Public Prosecution, explained that the state government was not in agreement with the reasoning; and conclusion of the state High Court.
“We are going to appeal, there is no doubt about it, in fact, we have obtained the court judgment; because we are not in agreement with my Lord’s reasoning and conclusion; it is not in consonance with the facts on ground,” Bayero said.