PREMIUM TIMES has obtained further details regarding why a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Mr. Yuguda was nabbed in Abuja and taken into custody at about 4pm Monday and was still being questioned as at 9PM alongside other suspects over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki
Sources familiar with the ongoing investigation said the former minister allegedly received suspicious payments from the office of Mr. Dasuki, who is being investigated over a $2billion arms deal.
Mr. Yuguda allegedly received N1.5billion from the former NSA’s office through an unnamed company, for unstated purpose.
He also alleged received N1.275billion from Stallion Group during the campaign for the last general election.
Another N775million was also allegedly paid to him from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unstated purpose.
All the monies were paid to him between Dec 2014 and May, 2015, our sources said.
Haliru Bello Mohammed
Also in custody over the same matter are the sons of Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State and Haliru Bello Mohamed, former minister of defence and ex-national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Sagir Bafarawa, allegedly acting as front for his father, received N4.6billion from the NSA’s office.
Attahiru Bafarawa had recently escaped arrest but the EFCC says the former governor remains on its radar.
The ex-PDP chairman’s son, Abbah Mohammed, on his part got N600milion in the name of Bam Properties Limited.
Also in the custody of the anti-graft agency is Shuaibu Salisu, a former director of finance and administration in the former NSA’s office.
Mr. Salisu, a staff of the National Intelligence Agency, was a joint signatory with Mr. Dasuki to the NSA’s office account and EFCC operatives are accusing him of “supervising some dubious payments”.
A source told PREMIUM TIMES that intelligence reports had so far allegedly linked him to the ownership of luxury properties in Abuja and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The suspects could not be reached for comments as they are presently in detention.
A presidential investigations committee into arms procurement under the Goodluck Jonathan administration had said in its interim report that it found extra-budgetary spending by the Jonathan administration to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional $2.2 billion in the foreign currency component.
But Mr. Dasuki has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying all contracts and accruing payments on arms procurement were made based on the approval of Mr. Jonathan, adding that due process and military procurement regulations were followed in all the transactions.
“Nigerians should note that all the services generated the types of equipment needed, sourced suppliers most times and after consideration by the Office of the NSA, the President will approve application for payment,” Mr. Dasuki in a recent statement.
Mr. Jonathan however said in Washington last week that his government never awarded any contract in the range of $2 billion dollars.
“I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons,” Mr. Jonathan said, querying, “Where did the money come from?” and repeating emphatically that “I did not award a contract of $2billion for procurement of weapons”.