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Cablegate: Sale of Nigerian C-130s to Senegal

VZCZCXRO9974
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #0585/01 0921058
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 011058Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2455
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0343
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0042
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 9004
RUEKJCS/DOD WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DET STUTTGART FOBE VAIHINGEN GE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000585

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DOE FOR GEORGE PERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2028
TAGS: PARM PGOV MARR MASS MCAP PM KFPC IS SG NI
SUBJECT: SALE OF NIGERIAN C-130S TO SENEGAL

REF: IIR 6 871 0061 08

Classified By: Political Counselor Walter Pflaumer for reasons 1.4. (b
& d)

1. (S) SUMMARY: In a February 29 meeting with Nigerian Air
Force officials, ODC Chief and Air Attach were apprised of
the Government of Nigeria's sale-in-progress of three of
their U.S.-purchased C-130 fleet to Senegal. While it
initially appeared that Nigeria might be in violation of
end-use agreements with the USG, subsequent follow up leads
Post to believe that the lack of proper paperwork is a result
of the inappropriate handling of the case by a few Ministry
of Defense (MOD) individuals, possibly hoping to profit from
a quick sale. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) In a February 29 meeting with ODC Chief and Air
Attach, Deputy Director of Nigerian Air Force (NAF)
Logistics Mohammed Abbas stated that Nigeria had sold three
C-130Hs to the Government of Senegal (GOS), using the Israeli
firm A.D. Consultants as a middleman. Abbas stated that the
GOS had already transferred the $6.1 million to the GON, but
the sale was still pending due to Department of State
inaction on the Third Party Transfer (TPT) request. ODC's
March 3 inquiries to the offices of the Secretary of Defense
(OSD), Defense Security Cooperation, Security Assistance
Affairs, and the Department's Political Military Bureau (PM)
about the status of the TPT request came up dry.

3. (SBU) Subsequent research by OSD and PM, however, indicate
the following timeline:
26 April 2007 -- first payment of $3.05 million made to
Nigerian MOD by GOS;
22 May 2007 -- Formal Aircraft Sale Agreement (no. 5973)
between MOD and A.D. Consultants on behalf of Senegal,
acknowledging the need to seek USG approval of the sale prior
to its completion;
7 June 2007 -- letter sent by MOD Permanent Secretary to
Post's Front Office requesting permission for the sale;
23 August 2007 -- letter, but no DSP-83 Non-Transfer and Use
Certificate, sent by Nigerian DATT Group Captain Zannah to
Department requesting permission for the sale;
15 November 2007 -- notice by Office of Defense Trade
Controls to Nigerian DATT stating that application for TPT
was denied, and requesting a resubmission of the request
using a DSP-83. DATT Abuja followed up with Nigerian DATT
with further explanation of the proper way to proceed to
obtain permission for the sale.

4. (SBU) It appears no further action to file the DSP-83 was
taken by the GON from November 2007 until the present time.
The MOD, however, appeared during that timeframe to have been
trying to effect delivery of the aircraft to Senegal. Since
the whole affair was brought to Post's attention, ODC and DAO
have repeatedly warned the GON, both verbally and in writing,
to stand fast until TPT is approved. They have received
assurances from the NAF that they are aware of their
contractual obligations, are ensuring that the MOD is aware
of them, and will not proceed with any sales until legally
permitted to do so.

5. (S//NF) COMMENT: Post believes this whole affair likely
arose due to a few MOD civil servants intentionally failing
to follow the law, possibly for personal gain (other sources
report that the sale money was deposited into an unauthorized
bank account, see reftel). But it is also part of an
historical pattern of the failure of MOD management to
practice due diligence and take the time to read and
understand the Air Force's contractual obligations -- and a
long-term turf battle between MOD and NAF over NAF assets.
The ODC and DAO are confident that the NAF is taking steps to
ensure that the MOD halts all further actions toward
completing delivery of this heretofore unauthorized sale, and
on March 26 the Director of the Air Force said they would
start working on the proper paperwork shortly. We will

ABUJA 00000585 002 OF 002


continue to monitor progress and keep the Department
accordingly informed. END COMMENT.
SANDERS

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