Former President Jonathan has the Economic and Financial Crims Commission close on his trail, and may end up being arrested before May 29th, as a result of the depth of investigation conducted on his government by the anti-corruption agency.
A reliable source within the EFCC told ReportsAfrique.com on April 4th, that Jonathan may be arrested before the end of Buhari’s first year in office. According to the source, two weeks ago, the Managing Director of Kakatar Engineering and Construction Company Limited, Mr. Azibaola Robert, was arrested and because he is the “closest kinsman of former president Jonathan so far,” it was evident that “we are inching close to making former President Jonathan our guest.”
The official who refuted recent remarks made by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in which he belittled the anti-graft agency, describing them as a “toothless bulldog”, predicted that “unfolding events in the next few weeks will actually confirm whether the EFCC has indeed become a toothless bulldog”, adding that;
“We arrested Mr. Azibaola Robert on March 23, 2016 when he came to honour our invitation. We also arrested his wife, but she has since been granted bail. The following day, we arrested Dakoru Atukpa, Executive Director of his company. As we speak, both men are in our custody and are helping with vital information needed to nail the former president.”
The source further disclosed that Robert and Atukpa were both arrested in connection with the “ongoing investigations” into a $40 million oil pipeline security contract, which originated from the Ministry of Petroluem, but was paid for by the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki who is also detained.
As the source revealed, the anti-graft agency is presently following a trail that indicates that One-Plus Nigeria limited, a sister company to Kakatar, which secured the oil pipeline security contract, may have acted as a cover for former president Jonathan.
“Even though One-Plus appeared to have successfully executed the contract, we are interested in details of how the company executed the job, including those who got paid from the $40 million sum.”
The official said, and then added;
“Even though we are still investigating, there is sufficient suspicion that both men used One-Plus as front of the former President. The Managing Director of One-Plus has constantly maintained that the company was incorporated well before Jonathan became Vice President, and that it wasn’t a crime to come from Otuoke.”
Being unsettled by the tag of “toothless bulldog” which Obasanjo recently placed on the commission, the EFCC official said the agency was committed to going after the persons viewed as the sacred cows just to disprove the former president. He said:
“You know former President Obasanjo has his unique way of passing his message. Before Obasanjo even described our Commission as a toothless bulldog, several persons accused us of shielding former President Jonathan. The truth is that we are not shielding anybody. It will not be good for us to rush to court only to be disgraced, the reason we took this long to make the arrests.
“However, be assured that a very big fish will land in our net before May 29. We intend to make the arrest of this big fish a Democracy Day gift to Nigerians.”
The official, who refused to mention the names of the big fish, nevertheless, ruled out the possibility of an early arraignment for Jonathan’s kinsmen saying:
“We will keep them in custody for as long as possible, and for as long as they cooperate and tell us the whole truth about what they know about the transactions, and the involvement of the former president. Fortunately, we have secured a court order to keep them (Jonathan’s kinsmen) for another two weeks. If need be, we will apply for an extension. But be assured that we won’t allow this matter go the way of others. With this case, we will prove those who accuse us of being toothless bulldogs wrong.”
The head of media of Kakatar company, Austin Ekheinde, refused to make any comments on the case when he was contacted. He rather referred journalists to his boss’s lawyer Gordy Uche (SAN), who eventually confirmed the arrest of the duo by the EFCC. He also confirmed that they were being detained in relation to a $40 million pipeline security contract as well as the purchase of a N650 million house.
Uche however faulted the agency for refusing to arraign his clients before a competent court for trial, and also made it known that EFCC operatives conducted several searches on the offices of his clients and carted away several documents, adding that he was reliably informed that his clients were being forced to make statements to implicate former president Jonathan in an apparent move to satisfy certain interests.