Alarmed by the revelations, the National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has, however, asked Dr Jonathan to speak out.
EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu
Following public outcries over the role of former President Jonathan in the ongoing arms scandal, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] has explained, yesterday, why it is yet to arrest the former number one citizen, reports Vanguard.
The former National Security Adviser [NSA] Col Sambo Dasuki (retd) allegedly disbursed over $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase to various individuals and organisations.
According to Vanguard, alarmed by the revelations, the National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has, however, asked Dr Jonathan to speak out.
This came as the anti-graft commission disclosed that one of the beneficiaries, the former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Mr. Jafaru Isah had returned N100m out of the N170m he collected and was given administrative bail to source for the balance of N70m.
Another beneficiary, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and leader of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Olu Falae however insisted that he would not refund the N100 million he collected from Chief Tony Anenih, which was said to have come from Dasuki.
Facts have also emerged how former Chairman of Board of Trustees, BoT of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih and Chief Olu Falae entered into a working relationship prior to the 2015 presidential election.
Explaining why the former president has not been arrested while speaking with online news publishers yesterday, in Lagos, the EFCC boss, Mr Ibrahim Magu said that no document has been traced to Jonathan giving any approval for the disbursement of the money for any purpose other than arms purchase.
He said that all those questioned so far in connection with the money were people who disbursed or collected it for reasons other than the purchase of arms and ammunition.
“All approvals by former president Jonathan did not mention that it was for political purposes.
Nigeria’s President Jonathan speaks during an interview with ThomsonReuters in New York
All the memos approved by him were for the purchase of arms,” he said.
Speaking about Olisa Metuh, the EFCC boss revealed that the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party said he would rather go on hunger strike than refund the N400 million he allegedly collected from Dasuki.
Magu also said that Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former boss of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, was recently re-arrested after new evidences of alleged embezzlement of N34.5 billion and another N600 million were linked to him.
The EFCC chairman stressed that the war against graft was not selective and assured Nigerians that his agency was not teleguided in the ongoing anti-corruption fight.
According to PDP, since former President Jonathan was still alive, he should come out and explain to Nigerians whether he authorized his former National Security Adviser to distribute money meant to fight Boko Haram into his campaign.
Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary Abdullahi Jalo said, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is alive, he should clarify whether he asked the National Security Adviser to distribute money meant to fight Boko Haram into his campaign.
According to Jalo, “Jonathan is alive, he should clarify whether he asked the National Security Adviser to distribute money meant to fight Boko Haram into his campaign. What is important for one to know is that former President Goodluck Jonathan is alive. Has he ever said go and take the money for arms meant for Boko Haram to campaign for me? Is there anytime that Jonathan asked for anything from either Dasuki to go and distribute this money meant for fighting Boko Haram for his campaign?
“As you all know, no single kobo will be spent by the federal government or former President Goodluck Jonathan without the Act of the National Assembly. Some people however decided to divert this money to something else.
“Darkness has now come to light, we have now discovered that it is not only PDP members who collected the money but those in APGA collected, Falae collected, Tanko Yakasai collected. They all collected the money under the guise that they are campaigning for Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is known to us that money meant for campaign are given to the national chairmen of various political parties. We had a dinner in the banquet hall where some billions were collected meant for campaign for Jonathan. That money was meant for campaign. Dangote, Otedola and others donated. So why would somebody tell us that you are taking money meant to fight Boko Haram, which is from an Act of the National Assembly. Any money appropriated is coming from consolidated account of the federal government and its usage must be meant for that”.
The PDP which also disowned the embattled National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh who has remained detained by the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said that as a party, it will not fight for his bail and others who have been alleged to be involved in the arms deal scam because they did that on personal levels and not on the platform of the party.
According to Jalo, “the issue of bail does not have anything to do with PDP. Let them tell us how much they have brought to PDP, to the national chairman and the money used for campaign, we want to know from them.
“PDP has nothing to do with individuals that used their companies to get money. PDP has no company, it is a political platform. There is PDP account and they did not even inform the PDP that they had received this money, they just went and slept with their families eating eggs and rice.”
Jalo who noted that public should not misconstrue the unfolding issues with that of the PDP, said that individuals that were presently involved, accessed public funds through their various private companies and not the PDP even though they were members of the party. He added that the Arms fund were an appropriation of the National Assembly to which the former President and Sambo Dasuki were aware of and were aware of the limit of using the funds other than what it was meant for.
The PDP deputy National Publicity Secretary said, “There are a lot of outcries against our members that have been taken to court because they received money from what we called Dasukigate or arms deal.
“The former acting National Chairman, Dr. Bello Haliru, who was taken to court is now on bail, he has a company Pam Proper and Property limited, he was given N600 million under a registered company of Corporate Affairs Commission, you can find out what the contract was meant for. Has he done what he was asked to do with the N600 million?
“Olisa Metuh’s company is Destral investment limited, he was given a job of N400 million. What has that got to do with PDP, you can bear me witness, when Olisa was accusing Lai Mohammed that he collected a contract from one of the states in the West, even Lai Mohammed took him to court, so now the hunter is now the hunted. Lai’s case has not been proved, Olisa is under investigation.
“Let us put the record straight. We want anyone of these people that have been accused whether in PDP, APGA or APC to come out and tell us that the money they collected, was given to PDP or their party. When he was given this money was he given the money to go and campaign for Jonathan, if yes let him show us the paper, let him present an evidence, but whoever was given this money should know that this money was not meant for that, it was meant for arms purchase.
“Thank God the party has kept quiet deliberately, maybe, because some have benefited. If we cannot clean the party now, the future is going to be bleak.
“If the Legal Adviser of PDP, rushes to go and bail out Olisa Metuh now he is doing the wrong thing, because he has to separate the party and Olisa as an individual.
Go, bring balance of N170m cash traced to you, EFCC tells Jafaru Isah
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission confirmed on Monday that it had retrieved N100 million out of the N170 million traced to the account of the former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Mr. Jafaru Isah.
The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, confirmed the retrieval of the cash from Isah, adding that it was the partial refund that informed his administrative bail to enable him to go and source for the balance.
Magu, who made the disclosure in response to criticism that he quickly released the APC chieftain and close associate of President Buhari while holding onto Olisa Metuh of the opposition PDP, said that the refund was not a guaranty that the suspect would not be prosecuted for receiving public funds illegally.
There has been a furore over the ‘sudden’ release of Isah from EFCC custody while other suspects duly granted bail by the courts, are still being held by the anti-graft agency.
The opposition PDP believes its key figures, who received huge cash from the office of the National Security Adviser and are being detained by the EFCC, are being persecuted notwithstanding their admission that they indeed, received the said cash for election purposes.
But in the case of Jafaru Isah, the amount of N170 million traced to him is said to have been paid by the embattled ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki, to enable him to acquire a property in Kano State for him.
The deal, it was gathered did not go through, as a member of the Jonathan cabinet paid a higher amount of money for the same building which Isah was billed to buy for Dasuki.
Isah, who was arrested by the EFCC last week, is said to be a close friend of Dasuki and a political associate of President Buhari, although Buhari did not know about the N170 million deal with Dasuki.
The Presidency immediately distanced itself from Isah upon his arrest, making it clear that it would not interfere in his prosecution by the EFCC.
An aide of the President told Vanguard in confidence that although Jafaru Isah was a close political ally of President Buhari, the first citizen would nonetheless remain neutral in the matter in line with his avowed position to deal decisively with corruption.
While describing Isah as a political ally, who had been with Buhari from the days of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party to the Congress for Progressive Change, the aide made it clear that the long relationship did not in any way suggest that Buhari was associated with the collection of N170 million from the Office of the National Adviser by the embattled politician.
The aide said: “It is true that Isah has been with Buhari from the days of the ANPP and CPC and was equally a member of the Transition Committee and actually headed the Defence Committee but that does not mean that Buhari knows anything about the N100 million said to have been collected by the man from the ONSA.”
Jafaru, who was a military administrator of Kaduna State from December 1993 to August 1996 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha and one-time governorship candidate of the defunct CPC in Kano State, is also described as a close friend of the embattled ex-NSA, Dasuki, who is facing multiple charges over money laundering and breach of public trust in three courts.
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