EFCC to quiz Dasuki for alleged arms cash theft

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EFCC to quiz Dasuki for alleged arms cash theft - NEWS OTHERS

Ex-NSA to honour invitation Monday

Embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki was yesterday invited for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But Dasuki, who is to answer questions on arms contracts between 2007 and 2015, will not be at the EFCC today.

The invitation is an indication that the anti-graft agency may have taken over the arms procurement probe and the likely arraignment of Dasuki and others indicted by a panel, which examined the contracts.

The others, yet unnamed, include former Defence Chiefs and Service chiefs. Besides, the panel has summoned 30 arms dealers.

As a prelude to the arraignment, the EFCC will need to obtain statements from the suspects.

But Dasuki has said that he may not be available until Monday because of the siege to his residence by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

A Federal High Court is expected to make a pronouncement on the siege on Monday to allow Dasuki some freedom to respond to issues from the EFCC and other security agencies.

It was learnt yesterday that a letter signed by the Director of Operations of the EFCC, Mr. Olaolu Adegbite, invited Dasuki in connection with alleged diversion of funds.

A source said: “A letter was delivered today (yesterday) to Dasuki by the EFCC requesting him to report for an interaction on Friday (today).

“This is an indication that the Presidency has forwarded the Interim Report of the Special Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement to the anti-graft commission.

“I think the development also indicated that Dasuki and those implicated in the arms deals might be prosecuted by the EFCC.

“Now all the parties have the opportunity to present facts, figures and relevant documents before the court for the public to know the true position of things.”

Informed sources insisted last night that Dasuki might have opted not to honour the EFCC invitation because of the siege to his house by the operatives of the DSS.

Dasuki, who held talks with his lawyers yesterday, was said to be seeking for understanding from the EFCC to honour the invitation on Monday. It could not be ascertained whether the anti-graft agency agreed to his request.

A close source to the former security chief said: “There is an invitation from the EFCC but the DSS operatives have refused to vacate his residence. Dasuki cannot even step out of his home as I am speaking with you.

“If he steps out of his house, the DSS operatives may whisk him away to an unknown destination. He has to be careful too.

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“Dasuki is banking on the Federal High Court on Monday to decide on his right to freedom of movement and why the DSS should vacate his residence. You know the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), will address the court on Monday.

“The ex-NSA has asked his lawyers to write to the EFCC for some understanding till Monday when the court will make a pronouncement on why he is entitled to move out freely to honour all summons.

“Dasuki is under house arrest which amounts to a kind of mental torture.”

The list of other suspects and contractors implicated in the arms deals was being kept under wraps last night.

“The panel only submitted an Interim Report, investigation is ongoing and we do not want to release any list which may jeopardise investigation.

“Some of these equipment, arms, weapons and ammunition, were sourced from Nigerian firms, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Israel, Russia, Canada, China, France and even companies in South Africa served as intermediaries on arms purchase.

Some of the equipment sourced for the Army from South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic include T-72 Russian-made tanks; APCs, T55 armoured tanks with RM 70 multiple rocket launchers, and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPS) vehicles from South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic.

Others bought for the Air Force from Russia and France were MI35 attack helicopters; Agusta 109 support helicopters; Super PUMA helicopters; F17 Bombers and Alpha Jet bombers.

In March, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Canada was one of the top sellers supplying arms and weapons to Nigeria and Cameroon to aid their fight against Boko Haram.

The Institute said: “The report listed Canada as the world’s 13th-biggest arms exporter over the past five years. It was the 14th-biggest weapons exporter in the previous five-year period.

“According to the list, Canada facilitated the sale of 40 armoured vehicles to Nigeria in 2013 and 2014. Two of those companies were identified as the Streit Group and INKAS.”

A military source said: “The ongoing probe has international dimension. The panel will have to liaise with some embassies to invite some of the affected suppliers.

“I think we are in for a long haul in the ongoing probe. And the sensitive nature of the assignments made the panel to submit an Interim Report.”

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