Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Trial Till Friday

Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja on Thursday adjourned the trial of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), with respect to the charges of alleged diversion of about N32bn, part of fund meant for procurement of arms, till Friday.



The adjournment was at the instance of the defence lawyers, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) and Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who had written to the court that they would be in Kogi State for an election petition case today (Thursday).



Prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), and other defence counsel in the case did not oppose the request by Dasuki’s lawyer.

The judge then fixed the trial for 11am on Friday.



Earlier, the judge had to stand down the matter ?for about one hour, to await the arrival of the Dasuki, who was being conveyed to the court by operatives of the Department of State Service.



Justice Yusuf subsequently stood the case down till 11am.



Dasuki was initially absent from court when the case was called earlier in the proceedings.



?But his other co-accused, a former Director of Finanance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa, were present.



Baba-Kusa’s two companies, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited, are also part of the accused.



Justice Baba Yusuf had on December 18 gratned bail to Dasuki and the rest of his co-accused bail in the sum of N250m with one surety in relation to 19 counts of misappropriation of about N32bn meant for purchase of arms.



On December 21, Justice Peter Affen granted bail to Dasuki and his co-defendants with respect to another sent 22 counts of misappropriation of ?about N13bn, which was part of the arms fund, in the sum of N250m with two sureties in like sum.



But upon being released from prison after meeting the bail conditions, he was reportedly re-arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services.




Credit : Punch

Court Grants PDP Spokesman, Metuh, N400 Million Bail

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, on the condition that he pays N400 million as bond.

Mr. Metuh is to also submit his international passport, and must provide two sureties with N200 million each. The sureties must have properties in Maitama district of Abuja.

He is accused of receiving N400 million from an arms money diverted by the office of the National Security Adviser.
Mr. Metuh has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for about two weeks.


The PDP spokesperson was taken to court earlier on Tuesday in handcuffs.


Metuh who is facing a 7-count charge of corruption and money laundering, was last week Friday,  remanded in Kuje prison by an Abuja Federal High Court.



See photos below:







Credit : Premium Times

Arms Scandal: Osoba Group Disowns Falae Over N100m Donation

The Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Ogun State has broken its silence over the controversial N100 million allegedly collected by its National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae from the former Chairman Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, saying, contrary to Falae’s claims of distributing the money to state chapters of the party, it did not get any money from him.

The money was allegedly linked with the $2.1 billion arms fund believed to have been mismanaged by former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Falae had admitted receiving N100 million from Anenih.
The party, which was under the control of former governor of the state, Chief Segun Osoba in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Olu Agemo and the Secretary, Clement Adeniyi yesterday in Abeokuta, declared that it was never notified of or involved in any negotiation to partner with the PDP or any other party for the purpose of winning the election or maintaining peace during the period as claimed by Falae.

According to the party, ”We were never informed by the National Secretariat of our party of the decision to adopt former President Goodluck Jonathan or any other candidate as the party’s presidential candidate.

“That, we were never informed of any donation of funds to the party by the PDP or any other party.

“That the SDP in Ogun State did not receive any financial or campaign logistics assistance from the national secretariat of our party or any of its principal officers.

“That in April 2015 we made our position clear on the sources of our campaign funding through advertisement in the Guardian, Vanguard, Punch and Tribune newspapers of Monday April 20, before the current revelation.

“We plead with our members and supporters who have received this untoward revelation with great shock to remain calm and await the convocation of a general meeting where these issues shall be thoroughly discussed and appropriate decisions taken,” the statement read.

“We assure you that the SDP in Ogun will continue to operate within ethical and moral norms as laid out in the principles of Progressive Welfarism established by our progenitor, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the struggle to establish an egalitarian, peaceful and equitable nation”, the statement read.




Credit : Vanguard

$2.1bn Arms Scandal: EFCC To Arrest, Prosecute Bureau De Change Operators

Mr Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to arrest and prosecute Bureau De Change operators involved in the ongoing 2.1-billion-dollar arms deal probe.

In a statement in Abuja, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said Magu stated this when a delegation of Bureau De Change operators visited his office .
“Information reaching me through my operatives during investigations necessitated the need to talk to you.

“Some of your operators are fond of carrying huge amounts of money out of the country, since they can no longer withdraw more than 300 dollars using the ATM.

“There are fraudulent involvements of Bureau De Change operators in the arms deal scandal,” the statement quoted Magu as saying.

The statement said that reports available to the commission showed that some of the operators withdrew as much as N500 million in two, three, four tranches in this arms deal scam.

“I am greatly disturbed and I think there will be need for proper documentation of your activities.

“This will enable your group to checkmate anyone who is involved in any fraudulent activity,” the statement added.

Credit: Leadership

Arms Scandal: EFCC Arrests APC Chieftain, Jafaru Isa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday night, arrested a former military Governor of Kaduna State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Brig-Gen. Lawal Jafaru Isa (reted).

Isa is the first chieftain of the APC arrested by the EFCC since the beginning of the sweeping probe into the alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase by officials of the immediate-past administration.

The erstwhile 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 a close friend of the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (reted).

Isa was arrested at his Abuja residence located at Ajayi Crowther Street, Asokoro.

Isa’s house was said to have been invaded by operatives of the EFCC around 9pm, and then whisked him away a few minutes later.

The retired brigadier general, was invited last week to appear before the commission on yesterday to clear the air on “some questionable receipts” from the former NSA.

Investigators believe the retired soldier received over N100million from Mr. Dasuki.

It was gathered that rather than honoring the invitation, sources said, Gen. Isa wrote a letter to the EFCC through his lawyer, seeking a postponement of his appearance date on the grounds of death of a relative.

Apparently dissatisfied with his excuse, the EFCC however arrested him to clarify the “questionable receipts”.

Details later…



Credit : Vanguard

$2.1bn Arms Deal: Al-Makura Calls For Maku’s Probe As Supervising Minister Of Defence

Gov. Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State has called for the probe of the failure of Mr Labaran Maku to rescue the Chibok girls as the supervising Minister of Defence in the last administration.


This is contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity ,Alhaji Tukur Ahmed, on Sunday in Lafia .


The statement said the probe was necessary in the interest of justice and fairness to the parents and guardians of the 200 female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.


According to the governor, the ongoing trial of the accused persons in the embezzlement of $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase should not exclude “those who allegedly collected money in the name of securing the release of Chibok girls but never did”.


Al-Makura noted that the investigation will go a long in revealing “how Maku, as Information Minister deceived Nigerians on the purported release of the Chibok girls”.


“It was alleged that the former Minister also collected several millions of Naira under the guise that they were negotiating for the release of Chibok girls from Boko Haram”, he added.


He pointed out that Maku’s recent assurance that he will speak up on the $2.1bn arms deal is a ploy to draw public sympathy.


The governor also challenged Maku to explain his role in the Ombatse and Baba Alakyo Saga over the killings of 86 security operatives while he was supervising the federal ministry of defence.


The statement commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to defeat Boko Haram, saying the insurgents are in disarray.


It called on all Nigerians especially the residents of the North East to support “this patriotic and honest drive to bring lasting peace”.





We Will Jail Arms Fund Thieves – PMB

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to ensure that all those involved in the arms procurement graft are duly prosecuted and jailed according to the laws of the jail.


Speaking with the BBC Hausa Service, President Buhari said it is one of the ways he intends to fund the 2016 budget, which is the biggest in the nation’s history and anchored on non-oil revenue.


“That is why those who stole monies meant for arms procurement and shared it among themselves are being arrested and are being shown documents so that they would be asked to refund the money or face prosecution; we would use those documents to prove what they stole, collect all the assets acquired from the proceeds and then jail them,” he stated.


He explained that the Customs, Ports and direct taxes on goods and services can fund the N6.08trn budget besides his determination to block leakages in how oil revenue is managed.


“We have also shown the changes we have made in the Customs; for instance, how much we are making from the Customs service; how much from petroleum, that is NNPC; how much we are making from the ports. There have been lots of leakages in these sectors. If we block these leakages, we would make much more money to run the country despite the fall in the price of oil.”


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the weekend predicted that crude oil prices may slump to as low as $20 per barrel in 2016.


According to report by the IMF Executive Board, the price of crude oil could drop to between $5 and $15 in 2016.


But while presenting the 2016 budget to the National Assembly, Buhari had said that “oil-related revenues are expected to contribute N820 billion while non-oil revenue, comprising Company Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs and Excise duties, and Federation Account levies will contribute N1.45 trillion.


“Finally, by enforcing strict compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 and public expenditure reforms in all MDAs, we have projected up to N1.51 trillion from independent revenues.”


The budget, the presidency said, is also relying heavily on the recovery of looted public funds and savings from the newly introduced Efficiency Units in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by the new minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.


Buhari told BBC he was optimistic about the “Budget of Change” submitted to the National Assembly, which is the nation’s biggest budget estimate in history and at a time the price of oil had drastically gone down in world market, saying it was at the country needed now.


“As a government, we inherited N1.5 trillion domestic debts, and when foreign debt is added, we have about N2.2 trillion. Everybody knows Nigeria is not a poor country. We are rich, and we have human resources; the problem had been that leadership did not take curbing corrupt tendencies seriously,” he said.


The minister noted that blocking the leakages will be achieved because the leaders of these agencies had been bought into his administration’s change mantra.


“It is generally believed that a fish begins to rot from the head; once the head is rotten, the whole body is also rotten. We have tried to remove all the heads of the organisations, and most of the lieutenants have been changed,” he said.


“A lot is happening in this government that people do not appear to understand: many permanent secretaries of ministries have been changed; we used to have 42 ministers, now we have 36 because the constitution requires that each state of the federation must have a minister; we used to have 42 ministries, now we have 24.”


President Buhari further explained that his government allocated 30 per cent of the budget to capital projects because during the campaigns, he promised Nigerians he would tackle three major issues to pull the economy out of the doldrums: unemployment, security and corruption.


“Remember the campaigns, we said Nigeria is facing three major things and nobody disputed that assertion. Firstly, there was widespread insecurity – war in the north east while the country’s oil was being stolen at random in the south.


“Secondly; there was massive unemployment – 62 per cent of the nation’s population are youths from the age of 35 years downward, most of them are unemployed, including those who went to school and those who did not; that is a serious problem. Therefore, it has become necessary to restore peace and create employment. That is why we are returning to agriculture and mineral resources.


“Thirdly, bribery and corruption was basically suffocating the country. If we don’t kill these monsters, this country would go down.”


He stated that the programme initiated to assist the poor and vulnerable Nigerians by paying them N5,000 monthly would commence as soon as the budget is passed. He, however, added a caveat.


“It is not possible for everyone needing it to get it, but the federal government has said it would collaborate with the states and local governments. At the local government level, almost everyone knows each other.


“It would be easy to identify those to give who would go into trading, and how to get it back. It would be like a cooperative and we all know how it operates. Also, state governments would identify those who have capacity to employ more people and all we need to do is to empower them. Our people already know how to go about implementing these modalities to create employment for the citizens,” he said.


On the promise that he would end Boko Haram insurgency by December, the President said the war had raged on because of the corruption inherent in the prosecution of the fight since 2009.


“I want people to understand that after I settled down and got good grasp of what the country was going through, we removed all the service chiefs and appointed new ones. We also undertook an investigation and found out how the monies meant for arms procurement were diverted and shared by officials in the last administration. They sent the boys to the warfront without arms and ammunition, leading some of them to mutiny after which they were arrested and detained.”


Buhari said that, by his own assessment, the military had largely achieved the December target to end the war.


“We have been able to raise money and fund the war. Go and ask the people of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa how many of their local governments were under the control of insurgents and how many are currently still under the insurgents.


“Maybe we would not win the war completely by the end of the month, but the insurgents have now resorted to putting on explosive vests on young children, mostly girls aged 15 and below and then sending them to markets, mosques and churches to detonate. Boko Haram themselves know that the era of them taking over communities and local governments are over.


“If people would be fair to us, they would know that the Nigerian Army has basically met the deadline and are winning the war. You cannot find any significant number of Boko Haram members in Adamawa, and Yobe; only may be in about three local governments of Borno, in the area around our borders with Chad Republic. They are not in a position to threaten Nigeria now.




Credit : Leadership

Arms Scandal: EFCC To Question Bode George, PDP Chiefs

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is concluding arrangements to invite some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party for questioning, a top source at the commission has said.


The plan is part of the ongoing investigations into the arms procurement scam and the party’s 2015 presidential campaign fund.


According to a report by Punch Newspaper,  the commission had compiled a list of the PDP chieftains to be invited while the anti-graft agency was awaiting directives to summon them.
The source added that the party’s chiefs might appear before the commission this week.


The top source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that it was the operational procedure of the EFCC to invite all those whose names were mentioned in the process of the investigation.


He explained that those whose names were mentioned, such as the former Board of Trustees Chairman of the party, Chief Tony Anenih; a former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Bode George, and others, who were alleged to have received part of the funds meant for arms procurement, would be questioned.


The source stated that inviting those mentioned did not necessarily mean an indictment but part of the process of investigation designed to unearth the truth.


He added, “You see, this is an investigation. In a situation like this, the commission has a thin chance of not inviting those whose names have been thrown up.

“They have to be invited to make clarifications; it does not necessarily mean that they have been indicted but it is only a standard procedure for them to appear to make clarifications where necessary.

“I think by now, Anenih, Bode George and all those who were mentioned during the investigation should have been invited but the commission has not been given the directive to pick them up.

“They know what they are doing. Anytime from now, possibly this week, they will be invited.”


The EFCC arraigned functionaries of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, who had been mentioned as having a connection with the $2.2bn funds, said to have been meant to purchase arms to fight the Boko Haram terrorists during the past administration.


These include Dasuki, a former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda; and a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.


Others arraigned are Bafarawa’s son, Sagir; and the founding chairman, DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.


Yuguda was on November 14 reported to have said he gave N600m to six chairmen of the contact and mobilisation committees of the PDP in the 2015 elections.


He was reported to have listed George (South-West); Yerima Abdulahi (North-East); Peter Odili (South-South); Senator Jim Nwobodo (South-East), and Attahiru Bafarawa (North-West) as beneficiaries of the fund disbursement.


Nwobodo, a former governor of the old Anambra State, has said he received an equivalent of N100m (in dollars) from ex-National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mua’azu, and not from Yuguda.


On his part, George, in a statement on December 14, denied collecting N100m from Yuguda.


He said the former minister gave the PDP Contact and Mobilisation committee $30,000.


Meanwhile, the EFCC is still detaining the Managing Director of Stallion Group, Harprrie Singh, over an alleged N1.75bn gift to Yuguda.


Investigations revealed that the commission was still holding the Stallion Group MD as of the close of work on Friday.


It was gathered that the commission would invite heads of more conglomerates this week in connection with the arms probe scam.


A top operative of the commission confided in our correspondent on Sunday that the commission had not released the Stallion MD because investigation into the controversial gift was still ongoing.


The source said, “The man has not been released. He was still with the commission during the close of work on Friday. It would be very unlikely for them to release him at the weekend, especially when the investigation has not been concluded.”


The EFCC on Thursday arrested Singh for a N1.3bn gift to Yuguda. The money was said to have been given to the former minister through Dasuki.


Credit : Punch

$6b Arms Gate: Suspects’ Rights Not Violated —Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has said that the rights of suspects arrested in connection with the $6 billion arms scandal have not been violated, insisting they must face trial for crime against humanity.


He made this assertion in a statement he issued on Sunday, 6 December.
According to Falana, “last week, some of the principal suspects implicated in the probe of the $2.1 billion and N643 billion arms gate were nabbed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Pursuant to the ex-parte orders validly issued by the courts the suspects have since been detained for the purpose of investigation.
“But in a desperate move designed to divert the attention of the Nigerian people and the international community from the grave allegations of reckless and criminal diversion of the public funds earmarked for arms procurement to prosecute the war on terror, some reactionary politicians have accused the Buhari administration of engaging in impunity for detaining the suspects beyond 48 hours without trial. In challenging the detention of the suspects by the EFCC a senior lawyer (Mike Ozekhome SAN) was alleged to have said that ‘a magistrate court has no power to issue a holding charge warrant’.
“With respect, the detention of the suspects is in strict compliance with the rule of law. The attention of the “critics” ought to be drawn to sections 293-299 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA) which stipulate that a suspect arrested for an offence which a magistrate has no jurisdiction to try, shall within a reasonable time, be brought before a magistrate court for remand. The order which shall be for a period not exceeding 14 days may be further extended provided that if the investigation is not concluded within 28 days the court may summon the appropriate authority to show cause why the suspect should not be unconditionally released.”
Falana also stated that “Suspects who are remanded in custody are at liberty to ask for bail or apply to the appropriate high court to secure the enforcement of their fundamental right to personal liberty. In view of the clear and unambiguous provisions of the law it is misleading to insist that a magistrate court lacks the power to grant the application filed by the EFCC for the detention of the criminal suspects.
“As corruption is already mobilizing to fight back, the Buhari administration should ignore the reckless campaign of calumny of certain people who have lost their sense of shame. As far as they are concerned the suspects should be left alone to enjoy their loot while soldiers are losing their precious lives due to lack of adequate weapons.”
He called on the federal government to ensure that all individuals and corporate bodies indicted in the criminal diversion of public funds are made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The anti-graft agencies should disregard the cheap blackmail, speed up the investigation and charge all indicted suspects to court while the courts are enjoined to conduct the trial of the suspects under the ACJA which requires that the trials be conducted day by day. The federal government should open a dedicated account to warehouse the recovered loot with a view to using the fund to provide equipment for the armed forces, create jobs for our army of unemployed graduates and fix our dilapidated public schools, hospitals and roads,” Falana said.
According to him, “it is pertinent to correct the error in respect of the extent of the amount of money involved in the arms gate. The well publicized $2.1 billion is the foreign component of the loot. The actual amount stolen is $2.1 billion and N643 billion. The total missing fund is $6 billion.
“In the light of the earth-shaking and ear-aching revelations oozing out of the EFCC to the effect that a handful of individuals cornered and shared the huge fund earmarked for the procurement of military hardware to prosecute the war on terror all the military officers and soldiers who have been convicted including the 70 who were sentenced to death should be released forthwith.
“As I have repeatedly maintained, the soldiers were committed and sentenced to death for asking for weapons to fight the terrorists. They were ordered to fight with unserviceable equipment on the ground that there was no money to purchase new weapons. In the process, the well-equipped insurgents routed and massacred thousands of the country’s ill-equipped soldiers due to the diversion of the fund set aside to purchase equipment.
“The suspects must bear full responsibility for committing such grave crimes against humanity. Consequently, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 we have applied for a certified true copy of the report of the arms procurement panel with a view to ensuring that some of the suspects are prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.”
Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki was arrested in connection with the scandal and he has implicated a lot of people, including media mogul and AIT/Raypower FM Radio founder, Raymond Dokpesi.

EFCC Secures Court Order To Keep Dokpesi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, failed to free the Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, after meeting his bail conditions.

One of the conditions was for the media mogul to surrender his travel documents to the EFCC and produce two directors in the Federal Civil Service as sureties, a condition he met earlier today, according to his lawyers.

His lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome, said they were shocked to be told that the agency had secured a holding warrant from a magistrate’s court to keep his client in detention after perfecting his bail conditions.


“We got the two sureties today (yesterday) and we were ready to meet all the bail conditions before the EFCC told us they were able to get a holding charge warrant from a magistrate.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said a magistrate has no powers to issue a holding charge warrant.
He also said neither Chief Dokpesi nor himself had been made aware of any charges yet.

“We are yet to know the charges levelled against Chief Dokpesi and he himself has told me that no charges were preferred against him,” he said.

Apart from Daar Communications boss, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda and former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, there were many other key suspects detained in EFCC cells in connection with the $2billion arms deal.

It was learnt that while some of the suspects such as Shuaibu Salihu, who was Director of Finance in the office of the National Security Adviser and 19 others had been in detention for over a week, Dokpesi, Bafarawa and Yuguda joined the suspects only this week.

By law, they are expected to be released or charged to court within 48 hours.

Mindful of the position of the law, a top source in the commission told Vanguard last night that the agency might approach a court to seek an order to further detain the high profile suspects.

“The aim is to give them time to speak out on why they received huge public funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and what such curious payments were meant for, especially as the recipients are not security men or security contractors,” a source said.


Credit : Vanguard