The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has had a lot on its hands in recent weeks following mind-boggling revelations by the Presidential Investigations Committee into how $2.1 billion was inexplicably disbursed into the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for procurement of arms under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Since then, it has arrested not less than 25 personalities of political and business clout, with some still being investigated, others arraigned in court, or granted bail….
The lead character in the whole script! His office (of the National Security Adviser, NSA) is alleged to have disbursed the whooping sum to not less than 20 people, including firms, reportedly in a bid to ensure his principal, then-president Goodluck Jonathan, was re-elected; as a result, he is facing a 22-count charge.
He was arrested on December 1, 2015, by the Department of State Security (DSS) in connection with the arms deal, but was granted bail by Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf at an Abuja High Court. He was, however, rearrested by the DSS operatives and was arraigned before another Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Peter Affem who also admitted him on bail on the grounds that the offences charged against him were bailable, the conditions for which he met only to be rearrested after he was released from Kuje Prison in Abuja.
He did not appear at his trial at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, January 20, as the government failed to bring him to court, to the outrage of the presiding judge.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola then ordered the prosecutors to produce him in court on February 16 to answer the allegations levelled against him.
He was granted bail to the tune of N400 million by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja who ruled that Mr. Dokpesi should be granted bail on the condition that he provides two sureties with N200 million each.
He also ordered Dokpesi to submit his international passport to the court’s registrar within 24 hours.
Dokpesi had since pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as the court slated February 17, 18 and March 2 and 3, 2016, to begin hearing on the matter.
The former Sokoto governor and his son, Sagir Bafarawa, also indicted in the crime, were arrested by the EFCC and are on trial for their involvement in the disappearance of more than $2bn under Jonathan’s administration. They were granted bail in the sum of N250m and a surety in like sum.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Peter Affem, said the surety must be a civil servant, serving or retired and not less than the rank of a director. He also added that the accused persons (including Yuguda and Salisu) should submit their passports with the court registrar and that any travel plans outside of Abuja must be conveyed to the court.
The Director of Finance at the Office of the NSA under Dasuki was indicted with his boss. The last heard of the matter was that he was granted bail by Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an Abuja High Court in the sum of N250m and a surety in like amount.
The first chieftain of the ruling APC to be nabbed in the case! The former military administrator of Kaduna State was arrested on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, by the EFCC at his Asokoro, Abuja, in connection with the arms deal scam having been accused of receiving about N170 million from Dasuki.
The retired Brigadier-General was released afterwards, however, after he refunded N100m of the sum he received.
HALIRU MOHAMMED AND SON, ABBA
The former PDP Chairman was, along with his son Abba Mohammed, arraigned before Justice A.R Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, for their alleged involvement in the diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms.
The former Minister of Defence and his son (who is the first defendant) were docked on a four-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and money laundering. Abba Mohammed is alleged to have received N600m from Dasuki in the name of Bam Properties Ltd. Justice Mohammed ordered Abba to be remanded in Kuje Prison, while his father be placed under the supervision of the Police IG since he is still receiving treatment in the hospital.
More stunning revelations were made afterwards as N1.4bn was traced to Destra Investment Ltd, a company linked to him. Metuh was arraigned in handcuffs in court on Tuesday, January 19, on a seven-count charge for alleged breach of trust, diversion of public fund and laundering the sum of N400 million.
He was granted bail to the sum of N400m – two sureties with N200m each by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
He was slammed with a fresh two-count charge for allegedly attempting to destroy a confessional statement made to EFCC operatives on Thursday, January 21, 2016, to which he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail to the sum of N300m and two sureties in like sum.
The former Minister of State for Finance received N1.5 billion from the Office of the NSA with no coherent basis for the financial transaction.
He was arrested on Monday, November 30, 2015, but was granted bail by Justice Peter Affem of an Abuja High Court following interrogation by EFCC detectives.
A staff of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was arrested along with his son, Mohammed Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC General Executive Director.
He was arraigned in court on December 14, on a 19-count charge by the EFCC. Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf in a ruling, admitted his bail application at N250million and one surety at the same amount.
Those indicted, and set to be invited for by the Commission
According to an EFCC source who spoke to newsmen anonymously, the commission is set to invite some prominent names on the list for interrogation.
In the words of the source, “The commission will soon invite those prominent Nigerians who took part in the sharing of that $2.1 billion arms deal. They will be invited to the commission’s headquarters here in Abuja but if they fail to do so, we will have no choice but to bring them.”
The names in question include, Olu Falae, Bode George, Tony Anenih, Rasheed Ladoja, Peter Odili, Tanko Yakassai, and others.