The immediate past president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is once again in the news after he made comments at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom where he gave a lecture on Youth Entrepreneurship and chose that medium to give his opinion on the trial of the former National Security Adviser, NSA, during his tenure.
The former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC for alleged diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms totaling about $2.1bn. Goodluck Jonathan who had been mute on the case since the arrest and consequent detention of the former NSA, was reported to have stated that, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd,), did not steal $2.1bn contrary to the charges against him.
The Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, said in reaction to the comments of Jonathan that, it was a way of preparing for his own defense when he is eventually called to question about his roles as the President when corruption reached the most monumental proportions in the history of the country.
“I am not surprised that the former President made such a statement because he has always demonstrated his ignorance of how much malfeasance took place under his watch. He was the chief accounting officer of that regime and believed that all fingers are pointing in his direction, because most of those that have confessed to sharing in the loot have mentioned one way or the other that he (Jonathan) gave approval for the money they expended, the latest of which is Obanikoro and Fani-Kayode.”
“He knew that eventually, it will get to him, that was why he was saying that it was not possible for Dasuki to steal $2.1bn, even when he saw people moving more than $9m to South Africa under a non-conventional guise for buying arms and he saw the revelations that even some of his ministers went away with more than $20bn.”
The former President had in his comments contended that the allegations that $2.1bn was stolen by the ex-NSA were not true, arguing that warships, aircrafts and a lot of equipment for the military were bought during his administration.
Adeniran speaking further on the issue said “it very unfortunate that a former President of this country can denigrate his Statesmanship status by this attempt to toy with the national intelligence and sensibilities of Nigerians. Is he taking Nigerians as ‘fools’?”
“Most discerning Nigerians knew since the episode of the arms deal scandal broke out that it was going to come to this and that a lot of illogical explanations and cunning justifications would be thrown up in the desperate moves to escape justice. This was why CACOL advised Jonathan the last time he spoke on corruption cases in the country stating that it was not yet time to talk, we told him to ‘speak up or forever hold his peace’. This a man that have had ample opportunities long before now to help the anti-corruption drive he couldn’t prosecute by supplying vital information on the looting under his watch by speaking up. A man, who had tried to protect his ministers who are corruption suspects by insinuating that some of them would be witch-hunted after his defeat in the last election, certainly knew the heat of the anti-corruption war would get to him. It was just going to be a matter of time; basically, a drowning man clutches any available straw for survival.”
Adeniran concluded that the former President ought to know better than to make such statements on a case that has led to so many revelations and already in the courts including the ECOWAS Court. He said, “The former President did not exhibit the character of a Statesman with such statements. What he has done is to make himself more susceptible to questions connected to the Dasuki-Gate and other corrupt practices like the Diezani Madueke, Abba Moro, Stella Oduah etc. cases that happened during his tenure.”