Plea-bargain on the card
Sudden re-appearance of immediate past Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Inde Dikko, who was sacked by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and later disappeared from public radar in Abuja headquarters of the service last week, may not be unconnected with a-yet-to-be-perfected tripartite agreement among relevant stakeholders to give him some soft landing in allegations of improprieties against him.
The stakeholders include the federal government, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Dikko himself.
Mid last week, the sacked customs boss made a sudden appearance at the Abuja headquarters of the service for a brief meeting with his successor, Hammed Ali, a retired Army Colonel.
According to reliable presidency sources who should know, Dikko “is supposed to be reporting to the EFCC on a daily basis by now, going by an understanding reached by all the stakeholders recently.”
The source said that a fallout of President Buhari’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar was a high powered meeting held by the stakeholders.
“At that meeting, it was agreed that the former Customs CG would make substantial returns of his allegedly stolen wealth to the federal coffers while he would await being charged to court by the EFCC, where he would enter a plea-bargain that would see him regain his freedom unperturbed when the court okays the plea.”
Another source who confirmed the development told Nigerian Pilot that in line with the agreement reached, Dikko ought to be reporting to the EFCC daily ahead of his eventual arraignment by the commission.
He added that the fact that the federal government was yet to fine-tune the needed arrangement could account for the seeming delay in Dikko’s arraignment.
Following allegations of corrupt practices all through his tenure as Customs boss, Dikko was fired from office on August 15 last year.
Upon conclusion of their investigation of his alleged wrongdoings, operatives of the EFCC last January 8 stormed Dikko’s residence at Jabi in Abuja and conducted a thorough search.
According to sources within the anti-graft agency, the search took several hours and ended at about dusk. However, the agents did not meet Dikko at home.
He was later alleged to have escaped to Dubai and some other foreign countries, causing the federal government to threaten to employ the services of the INTERPOL to arrest him.