Arms Deal Saga: Top 10 People Who Have Been Implicated
The present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has said it is committed to fighting corruption and 'cleaning the rot' left by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In doing so, some prominent Nigerians have been accused of being involved in shady deals.
The federal government is currently investigating the $2 billion arms purchase deal and many prominent persons have been arrested.
In its interim report, a presidential investigations committee into arms procurement under the Goodluck Jonathan administration had said 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.
President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a panel to investigate how billions of dollars meant for the procurement of arms deal disappeared from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In the last few weeks, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), have arrested some public figures who served during former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, over the alleged $2 billion arms procurement deal.
READ ALSO: $2bn Arms Deal Saga: Sambo Dasuki, Others Indicted
Below is a compilation of some of the people who have been alleged to be involved in the shady arms deal.
1. Former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki
The arms deal saga started with the siege laid on the house of the former national security adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, by the DSS. Dasuki, a key adviser to the former president, Jonathan, was accused of awarding "phantom contracts" to buy 12 helicopters, four fighter jets, and bombs and ammunition worth $2 billion for the military to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. But the weapons and the equipment were never supplied.
He was arrested on December 1, by the DSS and taken to the DSS office in Abuja. The embattled former NSA is standing the trial on a five-count charge of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
2. AIT Chairman Raymond Dokpesi
Dokpesi has been charged to court by the federal government over alleged receipt of N2.1 billion from Dasuki from funds meant for the purchase of arms. He had earlier explained the EFCC officials that the money he received from the NSA was used to prosecute Jonathan’s campaign and publicity for the PDP.
He was arraigned by the EFCC before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, December 9.
3. Former minister of state for finance Bashir Yuguda
He was arrested in Abuja on Monday afternoon, November 30, together with other top officials from the office of the NSA over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding Dasuki.
Yuguda allegedly received N1.5 billion from the former NSA’s office through an unnamed company, for unstated purpose, N1.275 billion from Stallion Group during the campaign for the last general election and another N775 million was also allegedly paid to him from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unstated purpose.
4. Former Sokoto state governor Attahiru Bafarawa
The ex-governor was arrested in connection with the $2.1 billion arms purchase scam. He is alleged to have benefited about N100 million from Dasuki. Bafarawa denied receiving any money from the ex NSA, describing the report as orchestrated media campaign aimed at tarnishing his image.
However, his family has asked the EFCC to charge him and his son to court if they have any evidence against them or release them.
5. Former deputy national chairman of the PDP Bode George
A report had surfaced on December 3 that he received N100 million from Dasuki, which was part of the $2.9 billion arms deal. In a swift response, the former deputy national chairman of the PDP denied collecting any money from the office of the former NSA. According to him, he never met Dasuki throughout his tenure, let alone collecting money from him.
6. Former Senate president David Mark
Reports surfaced recently claiming that the former Senate president, Mark, got the sum of N10.7 billion from the arms deal.
In reaction, his campaign team has frowned at the reports, insisting that Mark was never involved in the shady deal.
7. Former Rivers state governor Peter Odili
The former Rivers state governor, Odili, was named among those who received the sum of N100 million from the embattled former NSA. He has not said anything about his involvement in the deal.
8. Senate president Bukola Saraki
Online medium Sahara Reporters had published a news article, linking the Senate president with fraudulent arms deal.
In reaction, Saraki simply denied any complicity in the deal. A statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, states that the Senate president has never had anything to do with purchase of security equipment because in his entire political career he never served in any committee or body which has any link with defence or national security.
9. Former minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The former coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance under the Jonathan administration was alleged to have diverted the late head of state Sani Abacha’s loot. She allegedly approved the transfer of at least N61.4 billion ($300 million and £5.5 million) from funds recovered from the late Abacha, to the office of the NSA, few weeks to the 2015 presidential election.
In her reaction, the ex minister said she had no hand in the arms purchase deals facilitated by Dasuki. However, there are strong indications that she may soon be summoned by the EFCC for questioning over allegations that she is in the know of how the $2 billion meant for arms procurement was spent.
10. Former president Goodluck Jonathan
Some have said the former president should also be probed over the arms deal scam, saying he was in the best position to tell Nigerians the role he played as the consenting authority in the arms scam.
However, Jonathan has said his administration did not award contract for arms procurement to the tune of $2 billion.