With the dust yet to settle on the statement credited to former President Goodluck Jonathan that he does not believe that ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, stole billions of dollars meant for the procurement of military hardware, the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State has called on the nation’s security forces to “pick up” the former president.
The former president made the statement while addressing a gathering on youth entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Dasuki, a retired colonel, is currently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly diverting and mismanaging $2.2billion as NSA.
The embattled former NSA, who has been in detention for almost a year now, in his various submissions, claimed that he distributed the funds to politicians and others, on the orders of then President Jonathan.
Responding to a question about the alleged mismanagement of the arms procurement fund, the former president told his London audience that “They said the National Security Adviser stole $2.2 billion, I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying 2.2 billion, so where did we get the money to buy all those things?”
In its reaction to the defence of his embattled former NSA, the Lagos APC said it had become apparent that Mr. Jonathan knew everything about the arms procurement scam as well as other corruption cases that happened under his tenure as President between 2010 and 2015.
“Even as we concede that Jonathan is on a desperate bid to rehabilitate himself, we wouldn’t believe that a former president should be so contemptuous of the intelligence of Nigerians as to give the kind of defence he gave to Sambo Dasuki”, the Lagos APC said in a statement Thursday by its publicity secretary, Joe Igbokwe.
“We wonder what Jonathan makes of the horrid details that are emanating from the Dasukigate issue with shocking evidences, confessions and even refunds made by those that participated in that monumental corruption”.
The APC said there should be a limit to defending “such hefty corruption acts”, which greatly compromised the nation’s security and led to the loss of thousands of precious Nigerian lives.
It further cautioned the former president against playing on the intelligence of Nigerians who, it said, are still smarting from the horrendous cases of corruption that were perpetrated under him.
“To claim that Dasuki and his partners did not steal the arms purchase fund reveals the inner beliefs of Jonathan and explains that he is intrinsically webbed to corruption”, Mr. Igbokwe said.
“Even while he is perceived as pathologically corrupt and his regime seen as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s chequered history, one would have expected Jonathan to be cautious in seeking to advance very childish and inadmissible exculpation of his subordinates for glaring acts of corruption.
“We had expected that Jonathan would have striven to water down the lowly impression held of him by Nigerians and the international community by not deciding to be so patronising to clear cases of corruption by his subordinates. But with each day, Jonathan continues to baffle by his chameleonic acts.
“By Jonathan’s cheap defence of Sambo Dasuki, we believe time has come for the security agencies to pick up Jonathan to tell the nation all that he knows of the many cases of corruption that happened under him”.
The party said it believed the former president knows more than he admits about the “unseemly corruption” that he presided over and should be brought in for questioning.
“We don’t believe anything shields Jonathan from prosecution for corruption as we believe it is becoming indefensible for Jonathan to pretend he was innocent of the corrupt acts of his subordinates”, Mr. Igbokwe continued.
“While we condemn Jonathan’s cheeky defence of Dasuki, even in the face of monumental damning evidences, we want to state that the anti-corruption war is incomplete until Jonathan is prosecuted for he continually proves, by such defence of his corrupt subordinates, that he knew everything that transpired in his corruption-ridden regime”.