EFCC Arrests Former Daar Communications Chairman, Raymond Dokpesi

dokpesiThe 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.

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.

‘I Acted In National Interest’, Says Dasuki

dasukiThe former National Security Adviser (NSA) in Nigeria, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has released a statement, dismissing the allegations brought against him by the current government and claiming he acted in ‘national interest’.

In the statement released on Wednesday, 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 facing trial for unlawful possession of fire arms 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.

But Colonel Dasuki in the statement denied committing any crime.

He said: “For undiscerning Nigerians, they may tend to assume that the allegations were true and pronounce the former National Security Adviser guilty as charged.

“The statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who should know better as a former President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and a witness to history, was nothing sort of propaganda to cast aspersions on Dasuki”.

The former NSA claimed that the AVM Jon Ode-led panel did not invite him before arriving at its ‘ambiguous findings’.

“At least, fairness demands that the panel ought to hear from Dasuki instead of its recourse to hasty conclusions. If the panel had been more patient and painstaking, it would have been availed of all relevant documents on some of the jaundiced findings.

“As if acting a script, the Presidency alleged that the Panel accused Dasuki of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015. Contrary to this claim, Dasuki was not the NSA in March 2012 and he could not have awarded any contract in whatever name. The ex-NSA was appointed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012.

“All contracts and accruing payments were with the approval of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Once the ex-President approved, the former NSA paid. So, there was due process for every purchase in line with regulations guiding arms procurement for the Armed Forces,” the statement further read.

No Fictitious Contracts

Colonel Dasuki also stressed that all “the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced for suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment. For sensitive sectors (military/security), there was no room for awarding fictitious contracts. The conclusions of the panel were presumptive, baseless and lacked diligence.

“There were no fictitious contracts; contract sums were not diverted and the relevant services in writing acknowledged delivery of equipment. For all procurement, the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and the Nigerian Navy have their contractors.

“While awaiting judicial process on these allegations, it is proper to make some references to show that the presidency was just desperate to hang some former public and military officers who served this nation at the risk of their lives.

“It is laughable for the panel to assume that 4 Alpha jets and 12 helicopters were undelivered. In a memo to the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA), referenced NAF/905/D/CAS of November 28, 2014, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Adesola Amosu acknowledged the receipt of the 4x Alpha jets attack aircraft and the helicopters.

“On 10/21/14, the Chief of Air Staff also confirmed the receipt of F-7 N1 aircraft combination of 250kg bombs and accessories at $2,894,000 with the cost of freight at $1,200,000. The same Air Force confirmed getting 2xTri Shield 36DG Tactical radars

“In another letter of December 1, 2014 signed by L.S. Alao (on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff), the Air Force said it received five containerised fuel storage and dispensing units with equipment”.

He further explained that “the Nigerian Army wrote the ONSA to acknowledge the delivery of 14 armoured tanks. In a December 13, 2014 memo, the Brigade of Guards thanked ONSA for releasing N30m for RCA, Operation allowance for Troops on Op Urban Sweep II for third and fourth quarters of 2014. This is apart from the installation of CCT Cameras at the Brigade Headquarters, 2 backscatter bomb detection vans and other equipment.

“On November 26, 2014, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh sought for approval of the award of one pair of uniform (in the interim) for the Armed Forces at 165, 375 Naira to El-Jahab Mubarak Nigeria and 330,750,000 Naira for two pairs.

“These are some of the acknowledgment letters submitted to me by the end-users (the services). It is not for me to go and find out whether the equipment were delivered or not. I am not the one keeping the inventories”.

“In The Interest Of The Nation”

Colonel Dasuki further stated that he had submitted a comprehensive list of all requests for procurements by the services, the items bought and those equipment being awaited to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari long before I left office.

“If there were issues, I should have been questioned. I was just the clearing house, I did not award contracts to my company or proxies. There was no contract awarded or equipment bought without approval from the then President and Commander-In-Chief. I am not a thief or treasury looter as being portrayed.

“In order not to endanger the nation’s security, there are many salient issues and contracts which I cannot put in public domain. I am ready for trial on all these allegations in order to prove to Nigerians that I did nothing untoward in office. We will certainly meet in court.

“I have a lot to tell Nigerians but in the interim, they should not believe some of the allegations as the gospel truths. The good thing is that some of the key actors in the present administration were parts of the past process being viciously challenged.

“As for my tenure as the nation’s NSA, I acted in the interest of the nation and with utmost fear of God. I did not use the office for any self-serving agenda. I occupied the Office of the National Security Adviser at a difficult moment in Nigerian history when terrorism was at its peak and I am leaving posterity to judge me accordingly,” the former NSA added.

Arms Procurement Scam: Buhari Orders Arrest Of Culprits

armsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the arrest of persons indicted by the interim report of the investigative committee on arms procurement.

The order is in a release issued by the Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The committee discovered that budgetary interventions in local currencies amounting to over 640 billion naira and foreign currency of about 2.2 billion dollars were siphoned by those entrusted with national security.

Even more disturbing, according to the statement, was the award of contracts to fictitious companies by the office of the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, resulting to wastages and theft of funds.

The federal government vows that all those who have been indicted by the committee would be rounded up and prosecuted.

The press release also said that a contract for the purchase of four alpha jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were approved at the heat of the insurgency war in the north-east and up till date; there is no inventory of these supplies and that indeed the contract was not executed.

Full Statement

On the authority of Mr President, a 13 man committee was set up by the Office of  the National Security Adviser to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date.

While the committee which was inaugurated on 31 August 2015 is yet to complete its work, its interim report has unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions.

As part of the findings, the committee has analyzed interventions from some organizations that provided funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters and Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, both in local and foreign currencies.

So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is Six Hundred and Forty Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventeen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Five Hundred Naira and Eighteen Kobo (N643,817,955,885.18).

The foreign currency component is to the tune of Two Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifteen Thousand US Dollars and Eighty Three Cents ($2,193,815,000.83).

These amounts exclude grants from the State Governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defense procurement.

The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; Fifty Three (53) were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.

Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.

The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N3,850,000,000.00) were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the FGN.

Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50,  $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00. The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.

Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, 2 companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71 and €9,905,477.00 alone. This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.

Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer the sum of $132,050,486.97 and €9,905,473.55 to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for un-ascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.

The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition. Had the funds siphoned to these non performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.

Furthermore, the ridicule Nigeria has faced in the international community would have been avoided. It is worrisome and disappointing that those entrusted with the security of this great nation were busy using proxies to siphon the national treasury, while innocent lives were wasted daily.

In light of these findings, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts.

 

DSS Charges Dasuki To Court Over Illegal Fire Arms

dasukiThe former National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Col Mohammed Dasuki has been charged to court for possession of fire arms without license.

The crime, according to the Directorate of State Services (DSS), is punishable under Section 27(i)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.

In a statement released on Monday, the DSS said this is in line with the commitment of the service to the rule of law, in which nobody is deemed to be above the law, no matter how highly placed in the society.

It will be recalled that on the 16th of July, 2015, the DSS, had carried out a search operation on properties belonging to Col. Dasuki in Abuja and Sokoto.

At that time the DSS said their action was born out of credible intelligence linking him to acts capable of undermining national security.

The search led to the recovery of cache of arms and ammunition among other things and for which further investigation was conducted.

Another set of the secret Police operatives had also laid siege on another property belonging to Mr. Dasuki’s father in Sokoto, holding occupants hostage and searching everywhere.

Mr. Dasuki was removed as NSA on Monday, July 13, by President Muhammadu Buhari after serving for three years as Nigeria’s National Security Adviser.

He was appointed on June 22, 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Lawyer Says Siege On Dasuki’s House Was Unnecessary

Oluwasegun Ojemuyiwa on DasukiA Nigerian lawyer, Oluwasegun Ojemuyiwa, has expressed displeasure with the way a search warrant on the House of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, was executed. 

Giving his opinion on Tuesday on the search that was conducted by the Department of State Services (DSS) last week, Mr Ojemuyiwa said it was a violation of Mr Dasuki’s right to dignity and movement.

The DSS said it conducted the search of the immediate past NSA’s house based on “credible intelligence, linking him with alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian State”.

He stressed that the agency had the right to conduct a search of any house that they felt had implicating materials but also stated that it must do that with best practices and standard in mind.

“The claims that he wanted to commit treasonable felony is just an allegation and that does not mean he has that intention. All things are lawful but not expedient.

“The person who is in charge of the place you want to search must have to see the search warrant and must be given the opportunity to accompany them in the search.

“It is not impossible that somebody claiming to be a security agent could come to your premises and plant an evidence,” he said.

He further explained that he had gathered from reports that the security agency had claimed that they were authorised to search the house for incriminating objects, a statement he said showed that a conclusion had been reached before the search began.

“When you want to execute a search warrant in my own opinion, you don’t say you want to come to my house to come and look for incriminating materials, because if you come into my house you may find an acid. The fact that you find an acid in my house does not mean I have the intention to commit a crime with it.

“The search was conducted with too much force that was unnecessary. Coming to my house with two trucks full of security operatives is very intimidating and in a democratic era, such things should be discouraged.

“The Nigerian constitution guarantees a right to dignity and you don’t approach someone as a criminal before you prove that he is a criminal,” he stressed.

Mr Ojemuyiwa further stated that the former NSA was not given enough time to be debriefed and hand over items that belong to the state after his service as the Security Adviser.

“He left office on a Tuesday, you obtained a search warrant on Wednesday and go for a search on Thursday.

“What the DSS did was legal but there was an unnecessary siege which does not meet best practices,” he emphasised.

Jonathan Tells Commonwealth Youths To Campaign Against Violence

 JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has reiterated that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian citizens.

While speaking to members of the Commonwealth Youth Council led by current Chairman, Ahmed Adamu, in the presidential villa on Wednesday, President Jonathan said elective officers are for service.

“If any politician is endangering the lives of the citizens, it has amounted to deception,” he said.

Mr President also called on the youths to campaign against violence to the grassroots, so the message would sink in the ears of those who may want to foment trouble during the election.

While addressing politicians at the All Political Parties Summit, held at the Federal Capital Territory earlier, President Jonathan said his political ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

President Jonathan decried the discordant tunes from politicians since the advent of terrorism in Nigeria and called on politicians to join hands with the Federal Government if the war against terror must be won.

Emphasising the need to place national interest ahead of personal ambition, he also decried what he called anti-democratic tendencies of some politicians and the tension being created.

Goodluck Jonathan advised the gathering that no one should play into the hands of extremist elements who use the campaign of terror against the country.

HDP Sues NSA, CDS, Jonathan Over Election Postponement

inec-1The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) legal action has instituted against President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, challenging the legality of their powers to effect a postponement of elections already scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Also joined as co-defendants in the court filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke as well as INEC.

In the originating summon issued by counsel to HDP, Mr. Okechukwu Ehogwu, the plaintiff is asking the court to declare that the purported postponement of the scheduled February 14 presidential election was not in conformity with the provisions of the law since there was no natural disaster or natural emergency.

The party also canvassed that the letter of information from the Chief of Defence staff and the National Security Adviser dated February 3 to INEC on their inability and failure to guarantee security for Nigerians does not qualify as a natural disaster or emergency that could warrant election postponement.

The Plaintiff, who also has a presidential candidate, also asked for court declaration that INEC was not under any duty or bound to obey or comply with any unverified or cogent reasons to postpone scheduled election in the absence of a natural disaster.

The party is praying the court for an order restraining the Chief of Defence Staff, NSA, President Jonathan and AGF from further interfering in the party’s right to participate in an election and to also stop the usurpation of powers of INEC under any guise.

PDP Is Behind Dasuki’s Call For Election Postponement – Keyamo

KeyamoNigerian Lawyer, Festus Keyamo, says the ruling party is responsible for the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki’s suggestion that the February general elections be postponed.

Speaking on Channels Television, he said that it was cynical for a high ranking government official to make such suggestion when the elections were already close and the momentum was already in favour of the opposition candidate.

“The clear picture that is emerging is that the ruling party is afraid of defeat on February 14 and then the government uses its National Security Adviser to go and fly the kite first of all in London because they need to get the support of the international community for them to shift that date.

“Nobody can tell me really that a National Security Adviser would travel out of the country, make such a profound suggestion that can affect adversely the peace and tranquillity of even the electoral process without getting the approval of the President,” he said.

He alleged that the major reason the suggestion was made was to help the Peoples Democratic Party to buy more time to “do damage” to the chances of the APC Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.

He noted that the Peoples Democratic Party had always been worried by the credibility of the retired General and this has been the reason there had been several attempts to demonise and challenge his eligibility for the office.

“They think that the momentum is behind him and they need more time to re-strategise on how to manipulate the processes and to damage his credibility,” he said.

He, however, expressed satisfaction in the statement made by the Chairman of the INEC, Attahiru Jega.

The INEC boss had said earlier in the week that the commission had no intention to postpone the elections and Keyamo said that this was heart-warming as it showed there was no synergy between INEC and the PDP.

He also corroborated the INEC Chairman’s claim that the commission was not to blame for the slow distribution of the PVCs as the people’s failure to collect their cards should not be a reason to postpone the elections.

Keyamo also said that the decision of the PDP not to react to the suggestion or condemn it just as the APC had done, validates his claim that they knew about it.

Buhari Certificate

Speaking on one of the issues which he said were being thrown at the APC candidate to discredit him, he said that making a case out of the educational qualification of the former Head of State was “complete rubbish”.

He referred to it as a “storm in a teacup” created to distract him and break the momentum being gathered by his popularity.

He noted that the Supreme Court had settled the matter in two different cases as he emphasized the view that the candidate only needed to be educated to the Primary 6 level and not necessarily to pass the examinations.

He added that an Army General who had attended many international courses, some of which have been rated to be equivalent to Masters Degrees, cannot be disqualified but rather seen as over qualified.

Insurgency

Keyamo, however, said that the failure of the current administration to address the critical issues of corruption, security and economy were of more importance to him than trying to help defend the authenticity of General Buhari’s academic credentials.

Keyamo expressed disgust at the growth of insurgency in the north-east region of the country. He said that the President should have been able to “deal with the situation” rather than provide reasons why the insurgency existed.

He insisted that the President should be blamed for the insurgency in Nigeria.

While admitting that terrorism was indeed a scourge in several developed countries, he noted that in no nation have the insurgents been able to take over any territory because their governments dealt with it decisively.

Mr Keyamo also provided his recommendations on how to get the 2015 general elections right.

He said that Nigerians need to shun violence and the President must make a commitment that the votes of the citizens would count.

He added that the President should not allow the rise of the “Mafias”.

Jonathan In Closed Door Meeting With Emir Of Kano

Emir of KanoPresident Goodluck Jonathan, before heading to pick up nomination forms at the PDP headquarters on Thursday, held a closed door meeting with the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in the Presidential Villa.

The Emir was accompanied to the meeting, which lasted  for one hour, by members of the Kano Emirate Council.

Others present at the meeting included Vice President Namadi Sambo, National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

This was the second time Sanusi would be visiting Jonathan since he became the Emir of Kano.

Sanusi, alongside other northern traditional rulers led by the Sultan Of Sokoto, Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, had visited the Presidential Villa on July 23 to break the Ramadan fast.

Sources say that Jonathan and Sanusi met to see how they could resolve their differences.

Political Parties Summit: Jonathan Says Ambition Not Worth Nigerians’ Blood

Goodluck JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has again reiterated that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian citizen.

The President said this while addressing politicians at the All Political Parties Summit, holding in the Federal Capital Territory.

He decried the discordant tunes from politicians since the advent of terrorism in the country and called on politicians to join hands with the Federal Government if the war against terror must be won.

Emphasizing the need to place national interest ahead of personal ambition, he also decried what he called anti-democratic tendencies of some politicians and the tension being created. He advised that no one should play into the hands of extremist elements who use the campaign of terror against the country.

The President also applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the   establishment of the Inter-Party Advisory Council and the transformation of the electoral process and called on politicians not to take this for granted.

The organisers of the event chose the very significant June 12 to meet, and uppermost in their minds was how to effect inter party collaboration, national stability and democratic consolidation.

The organisers chose the theme following discordant tunes in the polity following terrorism and abduction of Chibok schoolgirls.

The Chairman of the occasion, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, brought his understanding of what it takes to midwife the democratic process to bear, as he spoke about how politicians could sustain the Nigerian democracy especially in a charged atmosphere.

Also, security was said to be very important if democracy must thrive, as political upheavals in the country would bear serious consequences if the political class do not conduct themselves with decorum, no matter the political divide.

At the last count, over six major political parties in the country had their members represented, including some past Nigerian leaders, heads of state, and members of the diplomatic corps and other friends of Nigeria.

Also present were the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; Special Adviser to the President on Interparty Affairs, Ben Obi; PDP National Chairman, Adamu Muazu and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, who urged political parties to play by the rules.

Goodwill messages poured in from the political parties present.

 

President Jonathan To Discuss Boko Haram In Paris

jonathan_goodluckPresident Goodluck Jonathan will on Friday participate in a summit convened by President Francois Hollande in Paris, France, to discuss fresh strategies for dealing with the security threat posed by Boko Haran and other terrorist groups in West and Central Africa.

This is contrary to an earlier report that the President would visit Chibok, the community in Borno State, where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect.

Reuters had on Thursday reported that the President would visit the North Eastern State, quoting senior government officials.

President Jonathan would be joined at the summit in Paris by Heads of State and Government of Benin Republic, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, it said that “Britain, United States of America and the European Union will be represented at the talks, which will give special attention to the coordination and intensification of efforts to curtail the destabilizing activities of Boko Haram and neigbouring countries in the wake of the recent abduction of college girls from Chibok, Borno state.”

President Jonathan, would be accompanied by the Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Aliyu Gusau (Rtd.), the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.) as well as other principal aides and advisers and would return to Abuja at the conclusion of the summit on Saturday.