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Dasuki Indicts Jonathan, Says Buhari cant Arrest Him

Embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), yesterday declared that the Federal Government cannot arrest him. President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Tuesday, ordered the arrest of Dasuki and other unnamed government officials over armed procurement contracts running into billions of dollars, New Telegraph has revealed.

Dasuki, who has been held hostage by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), told New Telegraph that there was no way the government can arrest him unless the court rulings on his status are appealed and won by the government.

But some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) told New Telegraph that nothing stops the Federal Government from effecting the former NSA’s arrest. In a text message to one of our correspondents, Dasuki said: “They (Federal Government) cannot legally arrest me.

They can only appeal, but not vacate the order.” Dasuki, who stated that he did not know those who were indicted with him in the interim report, said that he was still waiting for the next line of action from the government. A source said the Federal Government, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, is working on clearing any impediment to effect his arrest.

As at yesterday, the DSS operatives still laid siege to Dasuki’s residence in Asokoro area of Abuja. Between 2:44p.m. and 2:53p.m. when New Telegraph reporter drove through the area, four personnel of the DSS, were seated beside the entrance of his house, even as an operational vehicle was also spotted at the entrance. Another vehicle was stationed about a hundred metres away from the residence.

The directive by the president’s order for Dasuki’s arrest followed Tuesday’s submission of an interim report by a 13-man committee, which he set up in August to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date. Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, in a statement explained that the committee observed that out of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; 53 were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.

Further findings by the committee, according to the Presidency, revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, Dasuki awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50, $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00.

The contracts, which were said to be for the purchase of four Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition, were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory. But, in a statement issued yesterday, Dasuki absolved himself of wrongdoing, insisting that he did not divert the arms purchase money in contention.

Dasuki, who insisted that he acted in “national interest”, claimed that he was not invited, thereby accusing the panel of not affording him the opportunity of fair hearing. He made allusions to alleged hastiness on the part of the panel, which he claimed, may have denied him the opportunity to avail the panel documents covering the subject matter.

Dasuki, in a statement titled, “I acted in national interest,” said: “In a theatrical manner, the Presidency fed the public with many allegations against my person and yet to be named former public officers.

“To draw sympathy, the presidency quoted some absurd findings including extra-budgetary interventions; award of fictitious contracts; 53 failed contracts; payment for jobs without contractual agreements; non-execution of contracts for the purchase of four Alpha jets, bombs and ammunition.

“For undiscerning Nigerians, they may tend to assume that the allegations were true and pronounce the former National Security Adviser guilty as charged….

“To set the records straight, Nigerians should appreciate that the AVM Jon Ode-led panel did not invite the ex-NSA under any guise before arriving at its ambiguous findings. At least, fairness demands that the panel ought to hear from Dasuki instead of its recourse to hasty conclusions.

If the panel had been more patient and painstaking, it would have been availed of all relevant documents on some of the jaundiced findings. “As if acting a script, the Presidency alleged that the panel accused Dasuki of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015. Contrary to this claim, Dasuki was not the NSA in March 2012 and he could not have awarded any contract in whatever name.

The ex- NSA was appointed by ex- President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012. “All contracts and accruing payments were with the approval of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Once the ex-President approved, the former NSA paid. So, there was due process for every purchase in line with regulations guiding arms procurement for the Armed Forces.

“And Nigerians should note that all the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced for suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment. For sensitive sectors (military/security), there was no room for awarding fictitious contracts. The conclusions of the panel were presumptive, baseless and lacked diligence.

“There were no fictitious contracts; contract sums were not diverted and the relevant services in writing acknowledged delivery of equipment. For all procurements, the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and the Nigerian Navy have their contractors.”

Dasuki said while he await judicial process on these allegations, he said the presidency was just desperate to hang some former public and military officers who served this nation at the risk of their lives.

“It is laughable for the panel to assume that 4 Alpha jets and 12 helicopters were undelivered. In a memo to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), referenced NAF/905/D/CAS of November 28, 2014, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Adesola Amosu acknowledged the receipt of the 4x Alpha jets attack aircraft and the helicopters.

“On 10/21/14, the Chief of Air Staff also confirmed the receipt of F-7 N1 aircraft combination of 250kg bombs and accessories at $2,894,000 with the cost of freight at $1,200,000.

The same Air Force confirmed getting 2xTri Shield 36DG Tactical radars,” he said. The former NSA said it was not his responsibility to go and find out whether the equipment were delivered or not. “I am not the one keeping the inventories.

To show that I have nothing to hide, I submitted a comprehensive list of all requests for procurements by the services, the items bought and those equipment being awaited to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari long before I left office. If there were issues, I should have been questioned. I was just the clearinghouse, I did not award contracts to my company or proxies. There was no contract awarded or equipment bought without approval from the then President and Commander- In-Chief. I am not a thief or treasury looter as being portrayed.

“In order not to endanger the nation’s security, there are many salient issues and contracts which I cannot put in public domain. I am ready for trial on all these allegations in order to prove to Nigerians that I did nothing untoward in office. We will certainly meet in court.

“I have a lot to tell Nigerians, but in the interim, they should not believe some of the allegations as the gospel truths. The good thing is that some of the key actors in the present administration were parts of the past process being viciously challenged.”

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) said that an order of the Federal High Court, which permitted Dasuki to travel abroad for medical checkup, does not stop his arrest by a fresh order of the president. Speaking with New Telegraph, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) said the subsisting order would not stop the arrest if there were fresh facts different from the facts on which the court order was given.

“No, if there is a fresh arrest, it is something different, unless it is the same subject matter. If that is so, all his lawyer needs to do is to go back to court and complain. But if it is different or even related, the earlier order cannot stop the arrest. “In fact, acquittal does not stop being arrested for another offence. It does not affect it at all.”

Also reacting, Dr. Awa Kalu (SAN) said that if there are fresh facts warranting a fundamental change of circumstances, then the pending order cannot stop the fresh arrest.

“You have to look at it in that light, with implicit order made by the President with tacit understanding that the medical needs as a former NSA must be met because people arrested for committing an offence has their right to health. “Good health for that matter, I will interpret the order to be, if you arrest him, make sure he is well looked after, medically and otherwise,” he added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the order by President Buhari for Dasuki’s arrest. PDP National Publicity Security, Chief Olisa Metuh, said yesterday in Abuja that Dasuki had already been condemned before his arraignment in court. He said what Nigerians expected was a proper investigation into the matter and not an express arrest.

“The president should have ordered proper investigation instead of the order for his arrest. There was no proper police investigation. This is wrong. This is to tell Nigerians and the international community that we are in a fascist state; this is a dictatorial regime,” Metuh said. Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja had, on November 3, permitted Dasuki to travel abroad for medical treatment. But the DSS stopped him from embarking on the trip.