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$2 billion arms deals: CACOL demands heavy punishment for culprits



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As High Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s fate will be determined today at the Abuja High Court, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has thrown its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s efforts to uncover the shady deals in arms procurement under the previous administration with a word of caution that it should be fair in its investigations.

CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran said in a statement issued over the weekend, that both the panel that investigated the $2.0 billion voted by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission, EFCC, deserved commendation for their efforts to ensure that those indicted in the procurement deal are all brought to book.

According to the CACOL boss, anyone found to have soiled his hands in the process of procuring arms for national security should be made to pay appropriately for their sins.

Former National Security Adviser to former President Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki has been standing trial for money earmarked for arms procurement under his office for the prosecution of the Boko Haram insurgency actually ended up in the hands of certain politicians, some of whom are already answering questions for the respective roles they played in the deal.

Notable among those being quizzed by the EFCC are a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Bafarawa said to have received N100 million; a former Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Bashir Yuguda; and the Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who was alleged to have benefitted to the tune of N2.1 billion.

According to him, anyone indicted should be punished for misleading Nigerians into internecine.

Comrade Adeniran expressed concern over the killing of innocent citizens and soldiers not because of their incompetence but due to poor equipment whereas some self-serving persons were busy politicising such a serious matter.

Comrade Adeniran condemned unreservedly a situation whereby the National Security Adviser was the one disbursing money for publicity as claimed by Chief Dokpesi as against Olisa Metuh, PDP’s Director of Publicity and even the then Minister of Information.

He therefore urged the EFCC to ensure that proper investigation is carried out, ensuring that all cases go through due judicial process and if the suspects are found culpable they should be prosecuted and equally allowed to face the full penalty; because no corruption culprit should be allowed to go unpunished.

“They should be used as an example for others who may want to indulge in a similar act,” he stated.

While commending President Buhari for starting the corruption war somewhere, the anticorruption crusader noted that corruption is sure the only reason our blessed country is not moving forward, stressing that Nigerians should, disregard our political differences and admit that at least Buhari is starting somewhere.

Corruption, he continued, “has been so much embedded in our collective psyche that any person who has the best of intentions at giving it a kick is perceived as a nutter, bent on ‘wasting our precious time’.   We must know that it takes bravery and courage to step on toes of the powerful and the untouchables in our society.”

He therefore urged the President to disregard such distractions and concentrate on pursuing his anti-corruption crusade with all his vigour and ensure that the thieves of our common patrimony are exposed and adequately punished.

“We just want to hope that at the end of the arrest and questioning, true justice is served to all the principal actors of this absurd drama, he concluded.

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