Armsgate: EFCC arraigns Dasuki, others over N13.6b fraud

Sambo Dasuki

Immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), was on Monday arraigned before an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama alongside his former Finance Director, Shuaibu Salisu and others on a fresh 19-count charge.

Others arraigned with them were, former Executive Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa, as well as his companies, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited. The accused persons were alleged to have illegally diverted over N13.6billion from the national treasury.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told the court that the accused persons supervised the unlawful disbursement of billions of Naira from different bank accounts belonging to the office of the NSA. Bulk of the funds were allegedly withdrawn from an account the office of the NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to the anti-graft agency, the funds were distributed to delegates that attended the presidential primary election the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held in Abuja in 2014, a process that saw the emergence of former President Goodluck Jonathan as sole presidential candidate of the party.

Part of the allegedly looted funds were said to have been shared to members of the House of Representatives in the PDP to facilitate their re-election bid.

The EFCC, among other things, alleged that the sum of N13.570 billion, being money for an “agreement”, between Dasuki and the ex-Director of Finance in the office of the NSA, Salisu, was looted from the national treasury.

They were said to have transferred a total sum of N1.45b to Acacia Holdings Limited’s account for special prayers; N2.1b given to DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited for publicity; N170m for a four-bedroom duplex; N380m to support re-election of members of the House of Representatives; and N750m paid into Reliance Referral Hospital Limited’s account for special prayers.

Besides, EFCC said its investigations revealed that N670m was paid to a certain publisher, N260m transferred to Tony Anenih and N345million traced to a former President of the Senate, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

The Commission said it has not been able to trace the ex-Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Hon. Waripamowei Dudafa, who it said was “on the run”.

Dasuki and the other accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case was adjourned to Tuesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a crackdown on endemic graft with some high-profile arrests made over the fictitious arms contracts to fight Boko Haram.

Under Jonathan, Boko Haram captured swathes of territory in its quest for a hardline Islamic state in the remote northeast, threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty.

Troops regularly complained they lacked weapons and equipment to fight the better-armed rebels until the involvement of armies from neighbouring countries joined the fight in January.

The insurgency has left at least 17,000 dead since 2009 and made more than 2.6 million people homeless.