Arms deal: Offenders should face firing squad —NATFORCE DG

February 10, 2016
•Asks OBJ to call Ezekwesili to order over BBOG •How $47m was disbursed during PDP convention, witness tells court
Written by: 
Adetola Bademosi and Sunday Ejike - Abuja

THOSE found guilty of the N2.1 billion arms deal fraud and other corrupt practices should be made to face firing squad, the Director-General (DG), National Taskforce (NATFORCE), Dr Emmanuel Osita, stated on Tuesday.
He said the former National Security Adviser (NSA) to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his allies committed an unforgivable offence, thus should be severely punished.  
The DG stated this in Abuja, at a briefing, insisting that the nation should no longer tolerate corrupt practices, even as he urged Nigerians to wholly support the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration. 
He blamed the incessant loss of lives and property of civilians and military in the North-Eastern part of the country as a result of insurgency to corruption. 
He said: “Corrupt officials should face firing squad. So, we are of the opinion that Nigerians should support Buhari. If Buhari fails, that means Nigeria has failed. 
“This is our only opportunity. Corruption saga is our main problem in Nigeria. If we do not fight it now to a standstill, we are in trouble.”
Dasuki is being tried with a former Director, Finance and Administration, Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Babakusa and two companies Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Holdings Limited - on a 19-count charge on money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
According to him, Nigerians are comfortable with the present prosecution of the former NSA, among other corrupt officials.
Osita added that other looters of the treasury should also face same punishment.
The DG, who appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call former President Olusegun Obasanjo to order, said as an elder statesman, he should play an advisory role rather than heat up the system.
“His eight years rule never created jobs, but rather promoted crime and corruption.”
On the Chibok girls, he said the former Education Minister, Obi Ezekwesili, could proceed to Chibok to find the missing girls.
“There are people who sit in Abuja here singing bring back our girls, it should not be a music that people dance to on the streets. Anybody can go to Chibok and bring back our girls. You can go to Sambisa or Chibok and bring back our girls. It is not using it to make money as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and you are sitting here.
“Buhari was not in power when our girls were adopted. It was an inherited problem and he is telling everybody to keep calm that he is going to do his best. It is not something somebody can do over night, if they can do it overnight, Ezekwesili can go to Sambisa and tell Bokoh Haram, ‘give us our girls’. So, I am calling on Obasanjo to call Ezekwesili  to order. They should stop causing problems in Nigeria,” he said.
In arelated development, a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC), Junaid Sa’id, on Tuesday, told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, how a total sum of $47 million  was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and disbursed to members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, for the purpose of the party’s presidential campaign.
Sa’id, an investigative officer with the anti-graft agency, led in evidence by the prosecution’s counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, told the court  that the commission, in the course of investigation, discovered how the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) under Colonel Sambo Dasuki’s leadership withdrew $47 million for PDP’s campaign activities.
He said “it was at that period that Dasuki withdrew the $47 million from the CBN, which was shared to members of the party for the  presidential convention. The commission  traced the $2 million paid to Destra Investment Limited belonging to Metuh.
“It was four days after the disbursements that Chief Metuh gave the money to his then wealth manager, Nneka Nicole Ararume”, the witness told the court.
Under cross examination by the defence counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, the witness  said Metuh had written in his statement that the monies he received from the Office of the former NSA  was for campaign activities as approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan and for the payment of his personal debt.
He added that about N77.5 million was allegedly paid to one CMC Connect for campaign publicity for the PDP, while N25 million was giving to one Abba Dabo, an aide of former Vice President Namadi Sambo for the same purpose.
He also told the court that the National Women Leader of the PDP, Kema Chikwe, got N5 million from the said money, while the chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Tony Anenih, received the sum of N21.7 billion.
The prosecution witness also told Justice Abang that N500 million was paid in two tranches to a company, Daniel Ford International, by the PDP spokesman for the purchase of a landed property at Banana Island in Lagos State.
The witness said investigations revealed that the former NSA had, on November 27, 2014, made a N10 billion withdrawal from the CBN and converted same to $47 million, which was shared to some PDP party members at its national convention.
When asked if there was any documentary evidence to substantiate his testimony, the witness said there was no documentary evidence, because the whole transaction was based on physical cash.
After his testimony, the prosecution counsel, Tahir, told the court that it was closing its case, after eight of the prosecution witnesses had testified since the trial begun.
The prosecution had earlier told the court that they had about 18 witnesses.
The trial judge who had earlier admitted all the documentary evidence as exhibits adjourned the case till February 18 for the defence to open its case.