Home » Headline » Ex-Minister, Yuguda, others  arrested over $2billion arms deal
Ex-Minister, Yuguda, others  arrested over $2billion arms deal

Ex-Minister, Yuguda, others  arrested over $2billion arms deal

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda and some former directors in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for their alleged involvement in the $2 billion arms deal during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

We learnt yesterday that the arrest was in continuation of the Federal Government’s probe of arms purchase for which a presidential panel has since indicted the immediate past NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Information available for us indicate that Yuguda, who was picked up yesterday evening, probably spent the night at the anti-corruption commission’s headquarters in Abuja, as he was still being interrogated as at 8: 08pm. Yuguda, who was Minister under the Jonathan administration, was being questioned over payments he allegedly received from Dasuki’s office.

A source said that Yuguda was paid, among others, N1.2 billion through a company and for unclear reasons. He also allegedly received N775 million from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unspecified purpose and another N1.275 billion from a company during the last presidential election campaign.

The source said the funds were allegedly transferred to him between December 2014 and May 2015. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also gave the names of others arrested in connection with the arms deal as a former Director of Finance and Administration in the NSA Office and staff of the National intelligence Agency, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu; former General Executive Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Aminu Baba Kusa, Mohammed Baba- Kusa, Abba M.T. Usman and Evegny Kundaev. Others arrested are: Attahiru Maccido, Salisa Umar Garu, Oyinmiebe Bribena, Olukoya Olusegun Godwin and Olukayode Raimi.

The source said the suspects were being interrogated to unravel the extent of their involvement in the deal.

Sources said Jonathan, within nine months during his administration, ordered the NNPC to release $2.1 billion in extra budgetary allocation to Dasuki.

According to reports, the NNPC’s disbursements to Dasuki’s office were $1 billion on March 27, 2014; $200 million on April 9, 2014; $600 million on May 5, 2014; $200 million on May 5, 2014 and $100 million on January 12, 2015. Jonathan’s Senior Special Assistant on Administrative Matters, Mr. Matt Aikhionbere, was reported to have written the covering letters conveying presidential consent to the NNPC for the disbursement of the cash.

President Jonathan also  approved the release of N40 billion to Dasuki by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014 after the removal of the then Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

According to the report, Dasuki wrote to the then CBN’s acting governor, Mrs. Sarah Alade, requesting for N60 billion, but she reportedly ignored the request because of lack of presidential assent. Dasuki re-presented the request to Sanusi’s successor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in June 2014 who also ignored it because the president was not copied in the request. Dasuki made the third attempt, but copied the then president who instructed the CBN to release N40 billion to the former NSA and another N20 billion to the Department of State Services (DSS) that never requested for such fund. It is believed that the N20 billion was used to fund the 2015 electioneering.

 

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