The man-hunt accompanying investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) continues over the $2.2 billion alleged arms deals looting. Yesterday being Tuesday, the Crimes Commission arrested the founder of DAAR Communications Plc, owner of Raypower FM and founder of African Independent Television (AIT), Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, for the same alleged offence.
Prior to yesterday’s arrests were the arrests of former Minister of State, Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, Director of Finance and Admin in the NSA’s Office, Mr. Shauibu Salisu, son of former Sokoto State governor, Sagir Bafarawa, ex-PDP chairman’s son, Abbah Mohammed, and the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), who was picked on Tuesday by the SSS, from his residence, where he had been under house arrest for three weeks.
PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the two men were arrested at their Abuja homes by two separate teams of detectives and taken to the commission’s headquarters where they are currently being interrogated.
Dokpesi and Bafarawa are being accused of involvement in the alleged misappropriation of $2.2 billion meant for the procurement of arms and military hardware for the prosecution of the war against insurgency involving the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and the theft of N2.1billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed the arrests of the two politicians declined to give further details.
All I can say is that some arrests were made including the two names you mentioned. But investigations are still on and there is nothing more to tell you at this point,” Mr. Uwujaren said.
According to a senior official at the anti-graft agency who spoke on the condition of anonymity, both Dokpesi and Bafarawa received “huge sums of money for no clear reason” from Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA).
Chief Dokpesi received N2.1 Billion from the NSA’s office but investigators cannot see any clear reason for the payment,” he said.
The source said investigators were “suspicious that the money was passed to him as payment for the damaging documentaries and campaigns his station ran on Buhari, Tinubu and Amaechi before the 2015 elections.
The funds were budgeted for arms procurement but were diverted to Chief Dokpesi so that he could air pro-PDP campaigns and damaging campaigns against the APC and its candidate,” the source explained.
On his part, the former Sokoto governor, Mr. Bafarawa, whose son, Sagir, was earlier arrested by the anti-graft agency, was picked up after investigation showed that he also allegedly received about N4.6 billion from the office of the NSA with no clear reason for payment. Bafarawa is now explaining to the EFCC all he knows about how sums meant for arms procurement were diverted to his son’s account, who is suspected to have acted as a front for him.
Bafarawa, who is a close associate of Dasuki, had on different occasions accompanied him to the federal high court, Abuja, where he is being tried for illegal possession of arms and money laundering.
It was gathered that the EFCC has obtained court order to detain all the suspects linked to the arms deals before they are charged to court.
Meanwhile, operatives of the State Security Service are currently interrogating Mr. Dasuki who was also arrested early Tuesday in connection with the arms procurement investigation. However, he has been claiming innocence over all the allegations placed against him, saying the accusation is a “witch hunt”.
Mr. Dasuki’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu, confirmed the arrest to PREMIUM TIMES, saying he was working to get further details. He said he was aware that the EFCC had applied to Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, asking for cancellation of the bail granted to Mr. Dasuki weeks ago.
To my knowledge, that application is still pending before the court,” Mr. Daudu said.
The presidential panel on its part, however, has indicted the former NSA of N300 billion fraud over the arms procurement deal. Also, a presidential investigations committee into arms procurement under the Goodluck Jonathan administration had said in its interim report that it found extra-budgetary spending by the Jonathan administration to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional $2.2 billion in the foreign currency component.