There are serious indications that the former president Goodluck Jonathan may be interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his role in the misappropriation of funds meant for the procurement of arms, The Nation reports.
Sambo Dasuki, the former national security adviser (NSA) was arrested by the EFCC for allegedly disbursing and embezzling money meant for security issues. Chief Raymond Dokpesi was also questioned by the agency over money received from the former NSA although he claimed the funds were “payment for publicity and media political campaigns during the 2015 general elections” for the former president Goodluck Jonathan.
According to sources from the EFCC, money retrieved from the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s family members was used for the arms deal.
Some of the suspects on the radar of the EFCC have been asked to produce relevant written approvals from Jonathan on some of the expenditures as some of them received verbal approval to carry out financial transactions.
An EFCC source said: “Either way, the EFCC may need to clarify a few things from the ex-president.
“Some of the high-profile suspects have told us that they got approvals from the ex-president. Equity demands that we should hear from his side too.
“We are certainly weighing options to avoid any act capable of derailing these ongoing investigations. We can have audience with the ex-president in confidence; we may isolate issues for him to help us clarify in writing; he may also volunteer on his own to clear the air on a few issues through the highest quarters and we may allow our ongoing comprehensive investigations and evidence to be sufficient for prosecution. The onus will then be on the suspects to present written approvals in court.
“This is not the first time we will be investigating past presidents. We will draw our experience from the previous exercises. You know, we investigated two former heads of state and a prominent traditional ruler on the $184 million Halliburton case and none of them was invited. We handled it in a meticulous manner.”
A former member of the Federal Executive Council said: “The ex-president has expressed doubts on some of the approvals being bandied about. I think Jonathan has a way of reaching out to the presidency in order not to overheat the polity. He will certainly do so.”
The EFCC source said Dokpesi would have to account for the N10 billion which he received.
“So far, Dokpesi has to account for over N10 billion and he has been confronted with some evidence which he admitted were some of the transactions he engaged in.
“We have discovered that Dokpesi was paid N8,047,275,290.99 on January 27, 2012 through account number 2017679134 with Maitama branch of First Bank Plc. We have proof of acknowledgement by the bank on January 28, 2012.
“In spite of the fact that the technical facilities used for the World Cup belonged to NTA, Dokpesi presented a bill which varied from N5 billion to N3.5 billion between 2009 and 2010 to N8.047 billion.
“Records showed that ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua rejected the bill and the National Broadcasting Commission advised against the payment of such outrageous amount.”
According to the EFCC source, some of the loot recovered from the Abacha family was diverted to the arms purchase and other security-related needs.
“We are looking into fresh clues that apart from the $2 billion, some looted funds recovered from the Abachas were also diverted into the arms purchase and other security-related needs.
“There are different clues we are probing. While some alleged that the looted funds were domiciled in the ONSA, others claimed that the funds were directly managed by the Presidency.
“We may check records at the Federal Ministry of Finance accordingly on Abacha loot.”
Meanwhile, Professor Itse Sagay who is the chairman of the presidential advisory body against corruption said that chief Dokpesi could be charged with conspiracy to steal.