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Monday, November 30, 2015
BREAKING: EFCC arrests former Minister of State for Finance, others over $2 billion arms deal scandal [Premium Times]
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and a number of top officials from the office of the National Security Adviser over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
Multiple sources at the EFCC told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Yuguda was arrested Monday afternoon and was currently being quizzed by detectives.
Our sources said a huge amount of money; “running into billions” was allegedly traced to the former minister from funds meant for arms procurement.
“The funds were directly transferred to him from the NSA office and he has been unable to explain the rationale for the transfer,” a source said.
“The transfers were made to his account between December 2014 and May 2015.”
Also arrested over the same matter, according to our sources, are some senior officials at the NSA office, including the director of finance.
“The suspects are being grilled by crack detectives and may not be allowed to go home soon,” one source said.
The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was yet to be briefed on the arrests.
“I’m aware that our detectives are looking into the case but I’m not sure who and who has been taken in,” Mr. Uwujaren said on telephone.
He promised to revert as soon details become available.
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.
But Mr. Dasuki has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying all contracts and accruing payments on arms procurement were made based on the approval of Mr. Jonathan, adding that due process and military procurement regulations were followed in all the transactions.
“Nigerians should note that all the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment,” Mr. Dasuki in a recent statement.
Mr. Jonathan however said in Washington last week that his government never awarded any contract in the range of $2 billion dollars.
“I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons,” Mr. Jonathan said, querying, “Where did the money come from?” and repeating emphatically that “I did not award a contract of $2billion for procurement of weapons”.