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#DasukiGate: Why We Are Yet to Summon Jonathan – EFCC

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has explained why former President Goodluck Jonathan has not been arrested in connection with the $2.1 billion misappropriated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) when he was the president.

Speaking to online publishers Monday in Lagos, he said the former president had not been summoned by the commission because no document had been traced to him giving approval for the disbursement of the money for any purpose other than for the purchase of arms, reported online news website, The Eagle Online.

The funds, which were managed by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has led to the arrest, detention, questioning and arraignment of so many prominent Nigerians, with some wondering why Jonathan, believed to be the principal actor in the unfolding scenario, has not been arrested or summoned for questioning.

Magu, during his meeting with the media chiefs, said 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.

Magu said: “All approvals by former President Jonathan did not mention that it was for political purposes. All the memos approved by him was for the purchase of arms.”

The bulk of the money disbursed from the $2.1 billion had been traced to financing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and promoting the bid of Jonathan to retain the presidency during the 2015 general election.

The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, confirmed he received N1.7 billion for publicity for the 2015 general election.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, was also given N400 million out of the money, but he has vehemently denied it and has questioned the EFCC and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for his continued detention. Metuh has been with the EFCC since last week Tuesday.

Political parties that did not produce presidential candidates for the election were also given N100 million each to support Jonathan.

According to another online news website, Premium Times, the EFCC chairman also denied claims the commission was on a witch-hunt of leaders of the opposition PDP after its continued detention of Metuh and release of Maj-Gen. Ja’afaru Isa (rtd), an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said while Isa had begun the process of refunding the money in his possession, Metuh has refused to do same.

“From the records, Metuh got over N400 million, he has not said anything because we need the public money to be returned so that it’s going to be used for public good,” Magu said.

“Also Jafaru Isa, what Dasuki gave him was N170 million. He also agreed…of course he has collected that money, he was with us for four to five days and then he made a deposit of N100 million and entered an undertaking to bring the rest. That does not mean we will not prosecute him.

“But Metuh, instead of going for a refund, he has admitted he collected money. Instead of returning the money, he preferred to go on strike,” he said.

The EFCC boss insisted the commission was not selective in its anti-corruption war, noting that only people involved in “some certain action or inaction of corruption” were being invited for questioning.

“Nobody who is not corrupt, who is not involved, is with us,” he said.

“In all the cases, we conduct preliminary investigation. We work hard. If it is a company you used, we unveil the profile of the company to see who owns the company. If it’s money, we make sure we follow the money, in your account.

“So it is not true that we just go and carry people and dump them. Sometimes you have to give a chance to the person accused to state his own side of the story. And in the process, the man will disclose a lot of things that you may not know.

“So it is very necessary for you to follow up on the information received from the person arrested, to strengthen whatever you have.

“We don’t keep people for more than 10 to 15 days. In fact, in most cases, we obtain relevant court orders. In all cases, if you see we keep somebody, there must be a supporting court order.

“If you are not corrupt, we will not have any cause to invite you. So we only invite corrupt people, no selectiveness,” he added.

Despite the EFCC chairman’s admission that General Isa had refunded N100 million of the N170 million he allegedly received from Dasuki, THISDAY learnt yesterday from a senior official in the commission that he would still be prosecuted for receiving the funds.

The source said the anti-graft agency would charge him to court for alleged financial crimes.

“Yes, it is true that General Ja’afaru Isa recently refunded N100 million to the EFCC with a written undertaking to refund the remaining N70 million. But that does not mean he is free. He will still face prosecution in court. That is the position for now,” the EFCC’s operative stated.

This is just as a former chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, has opened up to the commission on the deal reached by his party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) chaired by Chief Olu Falae.

In a copy of a letter he submitted to the EFCC, Anenih disclosed that the PDP conceded to the six issues raised by SDP before the latter agreed to support the re-election bid of former President Jonathan in last year’s presidential election.

The letter by Anenih dated January 26, 2015, confirmed the claim by Falae that there was inter-party cooperation between the PDP and the SDP to support Jonathan’s presidential bid.

Falae, who admitted to receiving N100 million on behalf of the SDP from the PDP through Anenih, following the agreement to work together, recently told journalists that the money was distributed to all the state branches of the SDP.

The SDP national chairman had also stated that his party, which did not field a candidate for the presidential election, decided to work for the actualisation of Jonathan’s re-election after the PDP agreed to the six issues it placed on the negotiating table.

Anenih’s letter had clearly responded to the six issues, thus paving the way for the PDP-SDP working relationship.

The letter titled “Inter-Party Co-operation” signed by Anenih in his capacity as chairman of the PDP BoT read: “I write to sincerely thank you for your letter dated January 23, 2015, on the above subject matter.

“After due consultations with relevant stakeholders of our party, I am pleased to convey to you our decisions on the issues and to further inform you that the president and the leadership of our party have expressed delight and strong optimism to fully cooperate and work with the SDP in the circumstance.

“On the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference, please be assured that the report of the National Conference will be implemented to the letter.  We believe that having regards to the fact that the National Conference was a baby of the president, he is in a better position to implement it.  And this is what he is doing.

“On zero tolerance to corruption, there is no doubt that our party, the PDP and your party, the SDP, are on the same page on this issue.  Apart from the fact that this administration has done more arrests, investigations, prosecutions and convictions of corrupt cases, the president has continuously laid emphasis on the need to develop an appropriate technology to comprehensively combat corruption and its vices.

“The approach, for example, has produced immense results in eliminating corruption that was associated with the distribution of fertilisers in Nigeria in the past.”

On intensification of efforts to defeat the insurgency, Chief Anenih added in his letter: “It is the primary duty of government to protect the lives and property of its citizens and secure the territorial integrity of the nation.

“This government has consistently made efforts to deal with the challenges of Boko Haram which has established their operational base somewhere between some states in the North-east of the country and the boundary with some of our neighbouring African countries.

“Terrorism has become a global phenomenon and fighting it requires the cooperation of not just the entire citizens but the support of the international community.

“The president is working on this.  In his recent visit to Borno and in a rally in Maiduguri few days ago, he assured the people that every inch of Nigerian soil currently under the control of insurgents will be recovered in no distant time.”

The former BoT chairman of the PDP also detailed the plans by his party to combat unemployment.

“This is certainly a primary focus of this administration considering the various programmes designed and implemented since 2011; programmes such as SURE-P, YouWin, Agricultural and Industrial transformation, including the railways that have generated massive employment opportunities for Nigerians.

“The president intends to sustain the tempo and improve on existing records,” he said in the letter.

On the reduction of recurrent expenditure and increase in capital expenditure, Anenih explained: “This is an area that the president is not only ready to give a critical look at but is also prepared to welcome new ideas and positive contributions from leaders of the SDP.”

Also on the sixth issue, which dwelled on the participation of SDP in the PDP government, Anenih said: “Please be assured that the SDP will be considered as a worthy participant in the government and will be adequately consulted in this regards.”

The shape and texture of the PDP-SDP cooperation has been brought to the light following revelations that Anenih gave N100 million to Falae as contained in his letter to the EFCC.

The PDP chieftain was also reported to have given N100 million to the leader of the Accord Party, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, and N63 million to a group headed by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, for mobilisation and post-election peace advocacy.

His letter to the EFCC was in response to the commission’s inquiry about the N260 million alleged to have been paid into his account by the ONSA.

Meanwhile, Falae said yesterday that he would not refund the N100 million he received from Anenih, explaining that the amount was given to him for onward delivery to his party to assist sell Jonathan’s second term bid.

Addressing journalists at a press conference through the SDP National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Abdul Ahmed Isaiq in Abuja, he restated that he did not get any money from Dasuki and asked the government to hold Anenih, the source of the money, rather than himself or his party responsible.

He insisted that his party would not return any money to the government coffers, since the money it got was neither from Dasuki nor the ONSA.

He explained that the money was as a result of political alliance his party entered with the then ruling PDP to assist Jonathan in his re-election bid.

He said those who were returning money to the government were those who got money directly from the Office of the NSA, adding that he could not do so because he did not get the money from Dasuki or the office he was occupying.

Via Thisday

 

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