Dasuki Could Not Have Stolen $2.2bn, Goodluck Jonathan Says
Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that it was impossible for his former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to have stolen $2.2 billion as being accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Responding to questions after a lecture on Youth Entrepreneurship at the famous Oxford Union in the United Kingdom, former President Jonathan, said: “They said the National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) stole $2.2 billion. I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying $2.2 billion? So, where did we get the money to buy all those things?
“I agree with you that there are issues of corruption in Nigeria since 1960 till date. Yes there are still corruption issues but some of it were over-blown. I’d say exaggerated and they give a very bad impression about our nation. You cannot say the National Security Adviser stole $2.2 billion. It is not just possible”.
Dr. Jonathan, however, pointed out that some of the corruption cases were still in court and would rather allow the legal processes to reveal the facts of the matter.
He said: “One thing about the issue of corruption is that these matters are in court, let’s allow some of these processes to end. Lately some judges’ (homes) were also invaded. There are so many things involved and we have to follow up these matters to conclusion before we know the fact.
“I don’t want to be seen as a former president challenging what the sitting government is doing. So, I have decided to keep quiet for the court to look into them”.
He pointed out that allegations of corruption were not unique to his administration or the country.
“You will see that it has become a major topic whenever there is a change of government … I am not saying there is no corruption in Nigeria, there is corruption. If you look at corruption there is almost no country that is free, the degree varies, the perception varies.
“Transparency International talks about the way corruption is being perceived in different economies, why do we talk about the way corruption is being perceived, it depends on the issue raised in the media every day,” the former President stated.
After he was arrested in late 2015, Colonel Dasuki released a statement, dismissing the allegations brought against him by the current government and claiming he acted in ‘national interest’.
Mr Dasuki condemned what he called a “theatrical manner, the Presidency fed the public many allegations against him and other yet to be named former public officers”.
He claimed that the Presidency’s report about some “absurd findings, including extra-budgetary interventions; award of fictitious contracts; 53 failed contracts; payment for jobs without contractual agreements; non-execution of contracts for the purchase of four Alpha jets, bombs and ammunition”, were made to draw sympathy.
The former NSA is also facing trial for unlawful possession of firearms without license.
The crime, according to the Department of State Services (DSS), is punishable under Section 27(i)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.