Why EFCC Arrested Yuguda, Bafarawa, Ex-PDP Chairman’s Sons, Others Over $2billion Arms Deal

Former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at about 4pm Monday and was still being questioned as at 9PM alongside other suspects over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki

Sources familiar with the ongoing investigation said the former minister allegedly received suspicious payments from the office of Mr. Dasuki, who is being investigated over a $2billion arms deal.

Mr. Yuguda allegedly received N1.5billion from the former NSA’s office through an unnamed company, for unstated purpose.

He also alleged received N1.275billion from Stallion Group during the campaign for the last general election.

Another N775million was also allegedly paid to him from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unstated purpose.

All the monies were paid to him between Dec 2014 and May, 2015, our sources said.

Also in custody over the same matter are the sons of Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State and Haliru Bello Mohamed, former minister of defence and ex-national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Sagir Bafarawa, allegedly acting as front for his father, received N4.6billion from the NSA’s office.

Attahiru Bafarawa had recently escaped arrest but the EFCC says the former governor remains on its radar.

The ex-PDP chairman’s son, Abbah Mohammed, on his part got N600milion in the name of Bam Properties Limited.

Also in the custody of the anti-graft agency is Shuaibu Salisu, a former director of finance and administration in the former NSA’s office.

Mr. Salisu, a staff of the National Intelligence Agency, was a joint signatory with Mr. Dasuki to the NSA’s office account and EFCC operatives are accusing him of “supervising some dubious payments”.

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EFCC Arrests Former Minister, Others Over Alleged $2billion Arms Deal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and a number of top officials from the office of the National Security Adviser over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.

Multiple sources at the EFCC said Mr. Yuguda was arrested Monday afternoon and was currently being quizzed by detectives.

Our sources said a huge amount of money; “running into billions” was allegedly traced to the former minister from funds meant for arms procurement.

“The funds were directly transferred to him from the NSA office and he has been unable to explain the rationale for the transfer,” a source said.

“The transfers were made to his account between December 2014 and May 2015.”

Also arrested over the same matter, according to our sources, are some senior officials at the NSA office, including the director of finance.

“The suspects are being grilled by crack detectives and may not be allowed to go home soon,” one source said.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was yet to be briefed on the arrests.

“I’m aware that our detectives are looking into the case but I’m not sure who and who has been taken in,” Mr. Uwujaren said on telephone.

He promised to revert as soon details become available.

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Presidency Denies Spending N6b For Maintenance Of Presidential Jets, Gives Correct Figures

The presidency has vehemently refuted the reports in several quarters that a huge sum of N6b had been lavished on the Maintenance of presidential Air fleet (PAF) in the last 6 months.

The presidency spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Shehu in a statement said that only N2.3b had been spent contrary to the figures making the rounds.

He regretted that the president has had to be distracted by some “fictional report”, which he had “caused the government a lot of negative reviews especially in the online media”.

The statement further stated thus: “The government is focused on solving the many major issues our country faces in the areas of the economy, corruption and security. Yet almost every week, the Presidency has to also deal with the distractions which do nothing but distract from the task of government.

“Referring to documents he had requested from the Operational Office of the Presidential Fleet after his attention was drawn to the speculative report, Malam Shehu pointed out that the sum of N2.3 billion was released to the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation between May and November 2015. This includes releases for personnel cost, overhead and capital expenditure out of the sum of N5,190,381,386.00 appropriated for PAF on the 2015 budget.

“The documents also showed that the sum of N2,127,103,086.66 had so far been expended, leaving a balance of N172,568,912.34 from the amount released.

“However, the sum of N149,062,791.12 was transferred from the PAG’s operation account to the Treasury Single Account, following the President’s recent directive,” he said.

“He added that the sum of N23,801,122.17 remains unutilised out of the funds so far released. During the period 31 May 2015 till date, the Fleet expended the sum of N1,358,910,962.75 to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from last year till May 2015. Furthermore, the sum of N500 million was refunded to the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA for financial support rendered to the Fleet prior to release of funds from the OAGF.

“Thus, the Fleet expended the sum of N449,081,037.25 within the last months comprising N98,500,218.00 for operations, N165,373,176.91 on training and N85,500,116.75 on personnel medicals and overhead. Additionally, the sum of N99,715,493.51 was expended on aircraft maintenance, spares, and subscription services required for operations.

“Any of these documents could have been made available had the newspaper reached out to me or to any one of my colleagues. The damage to the image of government and the good management of the Presidential Air Fleet could have been avoided”.

Credit: Vanguard