Prague Jan 16 (CTK) – Hima Aboubakar, a 43-year-old businessman from Niger, investigated on suspicion of overpriced arms purchases for the military in Nigeria, has invested more than 50 million crowns in real estate in Prague, the Seznam Zpravy server reported on Monday.
Nevertheless, Aboubakar was not among the accused last June when the AFP French news agency reported on the prosecution.
Aboubakar was negotiating about an arms supply for Africa at least once in Prague, the server writes.
Aboubakar has bought a penthouse for more than 36 million crowns and two smaller flats for 8 and 7.5 million in the Dock housing complex on Liben island in Prague, the server writes.
According to the contracts of purchase signed in Prague, he has a permanent residence in Niger’s capital Niamey.
Aboubakar is executive director of the Societe D’Equipments Internationaux (SEI) firm trading in arms. Its main client is the Nigerian army that has been fighting Islamist terrorists from Boko Haram for more than seven years.
It surfaced at the beginning of last year that part of the money from Nigeria was sent to the accounts of private firms, however, no military materiel was supplied for it.
A former defence minister and a security adviser to the Nigerian president for security affairs were charged in the case. The Presidential Office wrote in a press release from March 24, 2016 that a committee for audit set by the Nigerian president recommended that a Nigerian anti-corruption unit investigate Aboubakar.
Aboubakar, who presents himself as a security adviser, told AFP that he welcomed the investigation since his firm only cared for the fate of Nigeria and was fighting terrorism, Seznam quotes him as saying.
The presidential commission has concluded that Nigeria earmarked 2.1 billion dollars for defence in 2007-2015. Out of this sum, the Nigerian air force paid 930.5 million to Aboubakar’s SEI.
Nigeria signed ten contracts with SEI between January 2014 and February 2015. One of them, on the purchase of two used helicopters for almost 137 million dollars, was clearly overpriced. The supplied helicopters were unable to fly, while a new helicopter of the same type costs 30 million dollars.
Aboubakar’s name also figures in a report by the Nigerian corruption unit in the case of bribing a former director of the Nigerian aviation operations.