Armsgate: Dasuki, Yuguda, Dokpesi, Bafarawa, others might be arraigned today
At last, the stage is set for legal battle to prove the truthfulness or falsity of their involvement in the alleged pillaging of the moneys approved for arms purchase to prosecute terrorism in the country and were said to have been siphoned by some influential Nigerians.
As a result, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has slammed various charges bordering on fraud and money laundering on former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; and founder of Daar Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, in the Federal High Court Abuja on Wednesday (today).
According to source from the EFCC, the former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; Mr. Dasuki; Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance at the NSA office, Mr. Bafarawa and his son, Sagir; and a company, Dalhatu Investment Limited would be docked on a 22-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
In a separate charge, Mr. Dasuki; Mr. Salisu; a former director at the NNPC, Aminu Baba Kusa; and two firms, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital would be face a 19-count charge bothering on fraud, corruption and money laundering.
In a third charge sheet, also filed by the EFCC at the court, Mr. Dokpesi and the company he founded, Daar Investment and Holdings would face a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
According to Premium Times, a source at the EFCC said all the accused persons might be docked on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The spokesperson to the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, however confirmed that charges had been filed against the suspects. He however declined to provide details of the charges.
Mr. Uwujaren also wouldn’t say if Mr. Sambo and his colleagues would be arraigned Wednesday.
It was gathered that one Babasola Kuti, who appeared to be acting on behalf of the Dokpesi family, had on Tuesday released a statement saying a six-count charge (not two-count) had been slammed on the media mogul and his company, Daar Investment and Holding Company.
“The six-count charge filed by Aliyu M. Yusuf, deputy director of legal, in the legal and prosecution department of the EFCC, against Dokpesi and a company, Daar Investments Holding Ltd, shows that four of the counts relate to alleged breach of the public procurement act of 2007, while one relates to money laundering and the sixth alleged that Dokpesi and Daar Investment Company had knowledge that the N2.1 billion paid to them by the federal government, through the office of the NSA, represented the proceeds of criminal conduct,” the statement said.
It further added that, “The other five counts accused them of fraudulent and corrupt act by entering into a contract with the federal government for presidential media initiative and that they got paid N2.1 billion without any open competitive bidding; without a written and comprehensive request to them by the federal government of Nigeria; and without a “certificate of no objection” for contract award.
“According to one of the counts, the money received by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi represents proceeds of criminal conduct of former NSA Colonel Sambo Dasuki, and Shuaibu Salisu who was a director of finance in the office of the National Security Adviser.”
The statement however noted that the charges slammed on Mr. Dokpesi had nothing to do with arms purchase.
Mr. Dokpesi’s family had last week issued a statement saying, the Daar founder never bidded for any contract with either the office of the NSA or Ministry of Defence.
They said his company submitted a proposal for media-related job to former President Goodluck Jonathan, which was approved, executed and paid for through the office of the National Security Adviser.
Following an interim report released by a presidential committee investigating arms procurement in the last administration, which alleged illegal spending of up to N643.8 billion and a further $2.2 billion, the EFCC set up a special panel to probe how the monies were spent.
The investigation is still on-going and the EFCC says more senior officials of the last administration might be quizzed on the disbursement and spending of the monies.