The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the arrest of the Chairman of DAAR Communications and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over his alleged involvement in the arms procurement scandal rocking defence circles in the country.
Speaking to Global Patriot Newspapers, Tuesday, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity of EFCC said Dokpesi has indeed been arrested by the EFCC and that he will remain in the custody of the Commission pending the completion of investigation into his level of involvement in the arms procurement case.
Earlier Tuesday, the man at the centre of the probe, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) was again arrested by the Department of State Security, DSS, for his role in the matter.
The embattled Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA) has been under a Department of State Security (DSS)-enforced house arrest following the refusal of the Federal Government to obey two High Court rulings which had granted the former security adviser to the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, permission to travel out of the country for medical treatment.
According to the EFCC, Dokpesi is said to have received the sum of N2.1 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the instruction of Dasuki.
Dokpesi, who was arrested by the EFCC mid-day Tuesday, is said to be under investigation in the $2 billion illegal arms purchase probe by a 13-man investigative and probe panel into arms and military hardware procurement for the armed forces set up by President Muhammad Buhari which preliminary report had indicted Dasuki.
The panel is tasked with investigating arms procurements by past administrations from 2006 to date for the various security agencies and the armed forces in the country.
On Monday, about 20 top officials in the NSA Office who served under Dasuki were arrested by the EFCC for their involvement in the scandal.
The arrests are undoubtedly connected with the ongoing investigation of the $2 billion weapons contract scandal in which Colonel Dasuki was indicted .
Among those arrested are Shuaibu Salisu, who was Dasuki’s Director of Finance, a member of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Aminu Baba Kusa, and a former General Executive Director at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mohammed Baba-Kusa.
Other former top officials of the NSA who are being held over the alleged weapons purchase scam are Abba M.T. Usman, Evegny Kundaev, Attahiru Maccido, Salisa Umar Garu, Oyinmiebl Bribena, Olukoya Olusegun Godwin, and Olukayode Raimi.
They are being investigated on a plethora of charges ranging from criminal conspiracy, theft, forgery, the diversion of public funds, to money laundering.
Operatives of DSS had picked up Dasuki and are said to have moved him to the national head office in Abuja, ostensibly for questioning.
DSS had recently accused Dasuki of refusing to honour an invitation to appear before the Investigative Panel on the Procurement of hardware and munitions for the armed forces.
The former NSA, who was finally arrested Tuesday morning has, however, denied the allegation while responding to an indicting statement from the Presidency, maintaining that he had never been invited formally or informally to appear before the panel.
“For the record I am proud to serve my nation with the best of intention and ensuring the recovery of more than 22 local government councils from Boko Haram terrorists.
“Because of the pride on how we tackled terrorism and defeated Boko Haram terrorists through our gallant troops and partners in the twilight of the previous administration that is the reason I have insisted on an open and public trial of my stewardship rather than secret trial in the court as being canvassed by my prosecutors.
“I wish Nigerians will go back and reflect on what we did with even little or no support from some countries. We performed miracles before the emergence of this administration. I even thought the committee was to investigate procurement from 2007 to 2015. Yet only my name is always being mentioned even when some of the issues were before I came into the government.
“I leave Nigerians to judge.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned in its entirety, the arrest of media mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and other opposition elements by the APC-led Federal Government.
The party also alerted that it has been made aware that more notable PDP leaders have similarly been listed for arrest over unproven allegations pursuant to the plot by the APC to cow and silence opposition in the country.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement on Tuesday said the military style of pronouncement of guilt on Chief Dokpesi before any fair hearing, betrays the fact that he is a victim of
political persecution and mob trial by the APC government because of his association with the PDP.
“While the PDP is not against the war against corruption, we insist that the crusade must be carried out within the limits of the law and not as a guise to persecute and torture opposition elements in the country.
“Our fear is that with the pronouncement of guilt even without being given the opportunity within his rights as a citizen to state his own side of the story, the President Buhari-led government is sidestepping the laws to ensure that Chief Dokpesi does not get justice in the court, a plot which they want to extend to other PDP leaders.
“The PDP therefore demands an open and public trial of all those arrested so that all issues and charges against them as well as their defence therein would also be in the public domain. We demand a proper investigation and lawful prosecution instead of the reprehensible resort to outright political persecution, which can only have a place in a military regime.
“We also note that this development may not be unconnected with the planned onslaught against the media, following its commitment in holding this dictatorial regime accountable since it took office.
“Finally, we call on the international community and rights bodies worldwide to note the growing impunity and gross violation of human rights by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government tailored to decimate the opposition and cow the media in Nigeria.