Former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, has been picked up by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is being questioned for his alleged role in transferring money from the office of the National Security Adviser, between December 2014 and May 2015.
This is coming just as the former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, is spending his second day with the EFCC.
Ambassador Yuguda is being quizzed for allegedly receiving suspicious payments from the office of the former NSA. The former NSA is being investigated over two billion dollar arms deal.
Some of the monies allegedly traced to Ambassador Yuguda include 1.2 billion naira paid to him for unclear reasons.
He is alleged to have also received 775 million naira from the office of the Accountant General and another 1.275 billion naira from Stallion Group.
Dopkesi as well
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has arrested the former Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
He was picked up in Abuja at about noon on Tuesday and was accompanied to the office of the EFCC by his son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr., who is the current Chairman of Daar Communications.
The Head of Media in the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told Channels Television that Chief Dokpesi was arrested in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
He said that there was no explanation about what the money was meant for and it was pathetic that the office of the NSA was used as “a warehouse to dish out money to people”.
He added that very worrisome is that this hard-earned money is taken from the coffers of the country.
However, a source at the commission told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Dokpesi was arrested after investigators established that he received some money from the office of the then NSA, Sambo Dasuki, “without any clear reason”.
“Chief Dokpesi received N2.1 Billion from the NSA’s office but investigators cannot see any clear reason for the payment,” he said.
The source said investigators were “suspicious that the money was passed to him as payment for the damaging documentaries and campaigns his station ran on Buhari, Tinubu and Amaechi.
“They believe the funds were budgeted for arms procurement but was diverted to Mr. Dokpesi.”
When contacted, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lawyer to Dokpesi said that it is a return to authoritarian regime as only last week Daar Communications Holdings, not Dokpesi, was invited by the EFCC to explain alleged contracts to the company from the office of the former National Security Adviser and that tax payments and other documents should be supplied to EFCC.
He said that as far he knew, no contract was gotten 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,” he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the arrest of media mogul, Mr Raymond Dokpesi
In a statement on Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, the opposition party said the military style of pronouncement of guilt on Chief Dokpesi before any fair hearing, showed he was a victim of political persecution and mob trial by the APC government because of his association with the PDP.
This is really brewing up a storm in Nigeria and even the Senate president has had his name thrown in.
The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has denied being involved in the N60bn arms deal involving the immediate past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Mr. Saraki, in a statement by his special adviser (media and publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that contrary to a report published by news website, SaharaReporters, he never had anything to do with purchase of security equipment because in his entire political career he never served in any committee or body which has any link with defence or national security.
“As a member of the Seventh Senate, Dr. Saraki was not a member of any of the committees which have oversight function on the Ministry of Defence or the intelligence and national security apparatus. If he was tagged the leader of the opposition to the Jonathan administration, how then will he be privy to arms purchases and have the influence to blackmail any government agency or institution over the release of funds,” the statement said.
The Saharareporters’ report accused Mr. Saraki of blackmailing the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay him and other senators N250 million as a way of covering up the arbitrary withdrawal by the NSA from the security fund approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In response to that, the Senate President ‘s statement says “Therefore for record purposes, Dr. Saraki did not collect any money from any official of the CBN in respect of any arms deal. The Senate President also challenge SaharaReporters or any official of the apex bank, Senator, serving or past, who witnessed or participated in any sharing of the alleged money purported to have been received by him, to come out with evidence.
But SaharaReporters said Tuesday it stood by its report and assured Mr. Saraki it will defend its position in any court within and outside Nigeria.
“As Nigeria’s number three man, there is no need for him to do legal tourism by going to courts outside the country. He should believe in the system and go to any court in Nigeria,” the publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, told PREMIUM TIMES.
Meanwhile, operatives of the State Security Service are currently interrogating Mr. Dasuki who was also arrested early Tuesday in connection with the arms procurement investigation.
Mr. Dasuki’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu, confirmed the arrest to PREMIUM TIMES, saying he was working to get further details.
He said he was aware that the EFCC had applied to Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, asking for cancellation of the bail granted to Mr. Dasuki weeks ago.
“To my knowledge, that application is still pending before the court,” Mr. Daudu said.
A presidential investigations committee into arms procurement under the Goodluck Jonathan administration had said in its interim report that it found extra-budgetary spending by the Jonathan administration to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional $2.2 billion in the foreign currency component.