A security consultant, Femi Adegbulu, says the circumstances surrounding the movement of $9.3 million arms deal funds have left Nigerians suspicious of the true purpose of the funds which was ‘shrouded in obscurity’.
On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, Mr Adegbulu said that the Nigerian government, by the action, flouted its own law that stipulates the amount of money that could be taken away and that of South Africa.
“It is generally known now that Nigeria flouts laws. You do not expect, irrespective of how you are trying to justify your action, for other people to take lightly to the breaking of their law,” he said.
Mr Adegbulu said that the fact that the government could contemplate such a ‘sin’ was an embarrassment to Nigerians.
“We can do that here with impunity, without any repercussion but you don’t do that in a sovereign nation.”
He dismissed claims that the arms deal could have been an arrangement treated as a black operation, saying that the government had some explaining to do.
“Shrouded In Obscurity”
“The truth about the issues has not been known. We know that 2015 is around corner and that the politicians would be looking for means to secure funds for the election.
“The fact is that people will raise eyebrow about whether the money was actually appropriated for.
“Where was the money taken from? There are so many things that are wrong about it and that is why people do not believe that the money was for arms,” he said, insisting that there is more to the transaction “shrouded in obscurity”.
On whether the issue would affect the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, Mr Adegbulu explained that bilateral relationship between two countries was a give and take affair, insisting, however, that moving such funds into South Africa without proper arrangement and prior-knowledge undermined its sovereignty.
“It will not call for serious friction between both countries, considering the trades relations between both countries.
“But, releasing the fund back to Nigeria depends on the diplomacy that Nigeria will employ in handling the issue.
“Nigeria can employ all kinds of diplomacy to get the money back because it belongs to us,” he said.
According to him, another reason for Nigerians to speculate about the true purpose of the funds was the fact that a cordial relationship had existed between the owner of the private aircraft that was used in transporting the money to South Africa and the President, Goodluck Jonathan.
He further said that the in some cases such deals, if true, are kept top secret, but pointed out that the rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa could make the South African government want to decimate Nigeria by making open the arms deal.