All politicians who shared in the allegedly diverted $2.1billion arms cash must return what they got or face trial, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said.
A former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Gen. Lawal Jafaru Isa, has refunded 60 per cent of the money he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), The Nation learnt yesterday.
Also yesterday, it was gathered that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh had admitted the transfer of N400million into a company in which he has substantial interest.
According to sources, EFCC decided on refund of cash after retrieving some of the memoranda which the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan to request for funds.
A top EFCC source said none of the memos seen so far indicated that the funds would be used for political purposes, party funding and the 2015 general election.
Based on the vetting of the memos and disbursement of money to PDP chieftains and other highly-placed Nigerians, the EFCC has drawn the battle line of either “you make a refund or face trial”.
Some of the beneficiaries of the cash include former governors Peter Odili (N100m); Rashidi Ladoja(N100m), Attahiru Bafarawa(N100m), Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi (N100m), and Jim Nwobodo(N500m).
Others are: Chief Tony Anenih(N260m); ex-PDP National Chairman Ahmadu Ali(N100m); Chief Bode George (N100m/ $30,000), Yerima Abdullahi (N100m); Chief Olu Falae (N100m); Tanko Yakassai (N63m); Gen. Bello Sarkin Yaki(N200m); Raymond Dokpesi, Iyorchia Ayu’s company(N345m); BAM Properties(N300m); Dalhatu Investment Limited(N1.5b); ex-PDP National Chairman Mohammed Bello Haliru, Abba Mohammed, Sagir Attahiru, serving and former members of the House of Representatives(over N600 million); former Chairman of the House of Representatives on Security and Intelligence, Bello Matawalle(N300m); ACACIA Holdings(N600m); Bashir Yuguda (N1,950,000) and many companies.
Based on the vetting, the EFCC is insisting that all those implicated so far must refund the “illegal disbursement” of cash to them or face trial.
A top EFCC source said: “We have conducted a thorough investigation and we have retrieved some of the memos sent to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan by the former National Security Adviser; none of them indicated that the cash should be for political purposes.
“There was never a memo for cash advance for political matters like campaign or election.
“We have also traced some of these funds directly to the accounts of these bigwigs or their proxy companies.
“Having gone far, we are asking them to return these funds or else, we will go after them any moment from now. I think they should respect themselves and make urgent refund.
“In the alternative, we will arrest them and arraign them in court to defend such strange allocations.
“We will retrieve every kobo given out from ONSA. It is insufficient to say somebody gave me this money. Once we trace undeserved public funds into your account or phony and proxy companies, we will ask for refund.”
Regarding the interrogation of Gen. Isa, the source added: “He admitted collecting money from ONSA and he has refunded 60 per cent of the sum credited to him. I think it should be about N100 million.
“Isa is the only person who has so far refunded money among the political figures who collected funds from ONSA. We have granted him bail to allow him time to source for the balance.”
On the detention of the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, the source said: “So far, Metuh has admitted the transfer of N400 million by ONSA into a company in which he has substantial interest.
“It is left to him to justify why he deserved such benefit from arms cash. We are still questioning him on other remittances into the company’s account. We are also demanding how he will refund the cash.
“Contrary to the noise outside, we did our homework very well. Anybody we bring to the EFCC this time around, we used to make sure that we have established a case against him.
“So, we don’t invite or arrest on frivolous basis. We do thorough investigation this time around.”