…as court grants ex-NSA fresh bail
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA- The Federal Government, Wednesday, re-arraigned the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, and three others alleged to have been involved in the illegal diversion of $2.1billion arms fund.
The former NSA and his co-defendants took fresh plea before an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, on an amended 32-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, entered against them.
Other defendants in the charge are former Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa and two firms, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referal Hospital Limited.
Meantime, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as trial Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf granted the defendants bail on earlier terms that were stipulated to them by the court.
The matter was later adjourned till July 2 and 5 for trial.
EFCC had in 2015, arraigned the defendants before the court on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering charge, fraud and breach of public trust.
Prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the charge was amended to remove the name of a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, who was previously the 2nd defendant in the case.
EFCC had alleged that the defendants siphoned N32billion from accounts the office of the NSA operated with both the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions.
It alleged that the fund which was earmarked for the purchase of arms to fight insurgency, was distributed to delegates that attended the Presidential Primary Election the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held in Abuja, a process that saw the emergence of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party.
Among top Nigerians FG listed as beneficiaries of the funds allegedly diverted by the ex-NSA were the current National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, former Chairman Board of Trustee PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; former PDP Spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh; Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman AIT Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, Bello Abba Mohammed, Dr. Bello Mohammed, AVM M. N Umar, Otunba Jonah Ogunniyi among others.
Corporate organizations included AMP Solar Service, Afro-Arab Investment, Bam Project and Projecties Limited, Bob Oshodin Organization Limited, WEHSAC Farms Limited, Wehsac Limited, Dimaris Mode Coolture Limited, First ARALAC Global Limited, Stellavera Development Limited, Jawaz Multi-purpose Venture Limited, Little Italy Global Services Limited, Belsha Nigeria Ltd and Syvan McNamara Limited, among others.
The ex-NSA who has been in detention since November 5, 2015, is equally facing another 22-count charge before the court, involving alleged N19.4bn fraud, alongside former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Bafarawa, former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda and Sagir’s firm, Dalhatu Investment.