Nigeria's former security adviser arrested

Corruption blamed for weak response to Boko Haram insurgency.

An investigation is underway after the Nigerian government arrested its former national security adviser for his alleged misappropriation of more than $2 billion.

Former Nigerian national security adviser Sambo Dasuki faces charges of using "phantom contracts" to embezzle government funds allocated for weapons needed for the army's fight against jihadist group Boko Haram.

The arrest was ordered by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari whose primary focus since his inauguration in May has been tackling corruption and the insurgency by the Islamist militants. In July the president sacked many of the top military and appointed a new team to lead the country's defence forces in his campaign to crack down on Boko Haram.

The goverment accuses Dasuki of awarding fake contracts to purchase 12 helicopters, four fighter jets and weapons that never materialised. The former security advisor, currently under house arrest, is also accused of instructing Nigeria's central bank to transfer more than $140 million to accounts in Britain, the US and west Africa "without any contract documents."

The government says the weapons, had they been purchased, would have avoided “thousands of needless Nigerian deaths” at the hands of Boko Haram, which is accused of killing up to 20,000 people since its insurgency began in 2009.

Dasuki's arrest comes as two suicide terror attacks in the north-eastern province of Yola and the northern province of Kano resulted in the combined deaths of 49 people. Both attacks are believed to be the work of Boko Haram.

The renewed wave of terror attacks in Nigeria has been condemned by Buhari whose cabinet was sworn in on 11 November, seven months after his election in March.