Group demands heavy punishment for culprits in $2bn arms deal
Two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered arrest of Mr Sambo Dasuki, the former army Colonel who is already facing a trial for allegedly possessing illegal firearms, after he was indicted by a panel investigating the procurement of arms under the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
More Nigerian politicians believed to have benefitted from the huge security budget said to be missing were, on Tuesday, arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Among those already in the EFCC custody are a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Bafarawa; a former Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Bashir Yuguda; and the Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
According to media reports, sources at the EFCC confirmed that High Chief Raymond Dokpesi was invited to answer questions for allegedly receiving over N2 billion from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), while Alhaji Aliyu Bafarawa was brought in for receiving over N100 million from the same source.
Commenting on the arms deal revelation, Comrade Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), commended the panel investigating the procurement of arms deals and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on their efforts in ensuring that corrupt public officials indicted in the arms procurement deal during the past administration were revealed, arrested, quizzed and kept in custody.
He said, “Anybody that stole money meant for national security MUST BE BROUGHT TO BOOK, and should be punished for misleading Nigerians into internecine.” Innocent citizens and our soldiers were killed due to poor equipment and yet some self-serving persons were busy politicizing such a serious matter.”
Speaking further, the anti-corruption crusader wonders why it became the job of the Security Adviser to disburse money for publicity as claimed by Chief Dokpesi when we have the Olisa Metuh, PDP’s Director of Publicity and even the then Minister of Information. “The EFCC should ensure that proper investigation is carried out, ensuring that all cases goes through due judicial process and if the suspects are found culpable they should be prosecuted and equally allowed to face the full penalty; because no corruption culprit should be allowed to go unpunished. They should be used as an example for others who may want to indulge in similar act.”
“Corruption is sure the only reason our blessed country is not moving forward.” Adeniran stressed, “Nigerians should, despite our political differences, admit that at least Buhari is starting somewhere. Corruption has been so much embedded in our collective psyche that any person who has the best of intentions at giving it a kick is perceived as a nutter, bent on ‘wasting our precious time’. We must know that it takes bravery and courage to step on toes of the powerful and the untouchables.”
Debo Adeniran concluded by imploring President Buhari to disregard such distractions and concentrate on pursuing his anti-corruption crusade with all his vigor and ensuring that the thieves of our common patrimony are exposed and adequately punished. “We just want to hope that at the end of the arrest and questioning, true justice is served to all the principal actors of this absurd drama”.