- Set to quiz 4 ex- ministers of Defence
- DSS re-arrests Dasuki
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested the chairman of DAAR Communication, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa in connection with the ongoing probe of arms deals by the federal government.
They were allegedly picked up by the operatives of the EFCC in their respective homes in Abuja around 10 am yesterday morning.
Spokesperson of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said Dokpesi’s arrest was in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. Uwujaren stated that no explanation was given for the disbursed money, adding that it was pathetic that the office of the NSA was used as “a warehouse to dish out money to people.”
Commenting on the arrest, counsel to Dokpesi, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said the days of authoritarian rule has returned as only last week, the EFCC invited Daar Communications Holdings, over alleged contracts to the company from the office of the former National Security Adviser.
Ozekhome added that Daar Communications Holdings never got any contract from the office of the NSA but that he sent a lawyer from his chamber, Barrister Justine Omogbemeh to accompany Dokpesi to the EFCC office.
“I do not regard this as an arrest. If you are invited by the EFCC, that is not the same thing as an arrest. We got this information through a mere phone call. There is no warrant of arrest and as a well-respected, obedient nationalist, Chief Dokpesi decided to go and answer the invitation,” Ozekhome said.
Ex-Defence Ministers to be arrested
A highly placed source at the commission yesterday told Nigerian Pilot that, apart from the arrest made, three former Defence Ministers, Lt. Gen Aliyu Gusau, Musliu Obanikoro and Olusola Obada will also be quizzed by the operatives of EFCC over their alleged involvement.
According to the source, a letter of investigation will be extended to them as soon as the current guests are done with the EFCC operatives. He said they will be quizzed in connection with the arms deal probe panel that allegedly indicted them.
As of the time of filling in this report, both embattled Dokpesi and Bafarawa were still being held in custody. It was not clear whether they will be released on administrative bail or not.
DSS re-arrests Dasuki
Also yesterday, operatives of Department of State Services, DSS yesterday re-arrested the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Nigerian Pilot gathered that the ex-NSA was arrested at his Abuja resident in the early hours of yesterday but some sources claimed Dasuki was apprehended by the secret police since Monday morning.a
Dasuki’s arrest is coming hours after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC arrested a former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Minister of Defence in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Haliru Bello.
Information gleaned by our correspondent revealed that the DSS’ action followed the former NSA’s alleged refusal to honour an invitation by a committee investigating his alleged involvement in the $2billion arms procurement deal by the past administration.
Sources said that his refusal to appear before the committee compelled the DSS to adopt a legal means to ensure his attendance.
“Sambo was initially arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering, for which reason his international passport was seized and on the order of the court, returned to the registrar for custody. What has however brought the seeming standoff between Sambo and the Service, despite the court-ordered release of his international passport on 4th November, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case,” the DSS said.
But Dasuki denied ever receiving any invitation letter to appear before a committee set up by the current administration to investigate procurement processes relating to any arms transaction by the last administration, under which he served.
Dasuki said in a statement that: “For the record I am proud to serve my nation with the best of intention and ensuring the recovery of more than 22 local government councils from Boko Haram terrorists.
“Because of the pride on how we tackled terrorism and defeated Boko Haram terrorists through our gallant troops and partners in the twilight of the previous administration that is the reason I have insisted on open and public trial of my stewardship rather than secret trial in the court as being canvassed by my prosecutors.
“I wish Nigerians will go back and reflect on what we did with even little or no supports from some countries, we performed miracles before the emergence of this administration, even though the committee was to investigate procurement from 2007 to 2015. Yet only my name is always being mentioned even when some of the issues were before I came into the government. I leave Nigerian to judge”.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Maitama would tomorrow, December 3hear a motion filed by the Federal Government seeking to revoke the bail granted to Dasuki, who was charged to court with illegal possession of arms following a siege to his Abuja home and subsequent arrest in July.
The charge against him was later expanded to include money laundering, but Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted Dasuki permission to travel abroad for medical attention pending the commencement of his trial on the November 26 and 27.
However, few days after the judge’s ruling, Dasuki’s Abuja home was taken over by the DSS, who claimed that its operatives’ invasion on the ex-NSA’s home was not in defiance of a court order granting him permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.