Dasukigate: SERAP wants CBN officials prosecuted

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) requesting them to “investigate the degree of complicity of Nigerian banks, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and financial institutions in the large-scale stealing of over N70 billions meant for purpose of arms for Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northeast of the country”.

In the petitions dated January 5, 2016 and signed by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation expressed “concern that while the CBN turned the blind eyes to corruption involving high-ranking government officials, it continues to engage in anti-poor policies such as introducing charges for use of Automated Teller Machine (ATM cards, and threatening to send to jail economically and socially disadvantaged citizens who use dollars for local transactions.”

“This inconsistent and discriminatory approach of penalising the economically and socially disadvantaged citizens for minor infractions while showing no concern about the over N70 billion stolen arms purchase funds is unlawful as it is contrary to national and international anti-money laundering standards and best practices.”

“SERAP believes that the CBN cannot absolve itself of complicity in the stealing of the over N70 billion and that this large-scale corruption would have been prevented had the CBN been alive to its leadership and supervisory roles in the implementation of anti-money laundering standards within its systems and in other banks.”

The organisation urged the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and Chairman of the ICPC, Ekpo Nta, to “urgently institute a joint probe of the roles played by the leadership of the CBN and other banks and financial institutions in the stealing of over N70 billion arms purchase funds.”

The petitions read in part: “SERAP believes that the efforts to identify responsibility for the heinous crimes committed against the Nigerian soldiers and their families should include the roles that banks and financial institutions played by aiding, abetting or failing to exercise due diligence to prevent the stolen funds from being stashed in their institutions, and thereby exacerbating the conflict in the Northeast.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned about CBN’s commitment and ability to tackle high-level official corruption especially given that it was the CBN that facilitated, aided and abetted the emptying of the public treasury by the late General Sani Abacha. The CBN should have learnt from this experience and not allowed without questions the withdrawal of billions of naira within a short period of time by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.”

“The CBN should have tightened up its systems after helping Abacha to steal billions of dollars from our commonwealth. Dasukigate suggests that the CBN has taken no action to improve its systems and due diligence.”

“By allowing excessive withdrawals by Dasuki and Okonjo-Iweala, the CBN has helped to fuel corruption in the arms purchase budget, and thereby contributed to the unnecessary loss of lives of many Nigerian soldiers and displacement of millions of law-abiding citizens.”

“The CBN’s longstanding complicity in money laundering also explains why it has failed to take action against domestic banks that are facilitating deposits of stolen public funds by Politically Exposed Persons or to encourage appropriate anticorruption agencies to pursue financial institutions abroad for their roles in corruption and money laundering in Nigeria.”

“Unless the CBN shows greater level of leadership and proactive supervisory authority, and takes its responsibilities seriously, corrupt politicians and high-ranking government officials will continue to find it easy to steal from the public treasury.”

“The EFCC and the ICPC now have the chance to send a clear message to the leadership of the CBN and other banks and financial institutions that aiding and abetting corrupt government officials to steal from the poor will attract personal responsibility.”

“The CBN ought to have blown the whistle, and filed reports with the appropriate anticorruption agencies or other authorities. Assuming the CBN could not turn down the requests for withdrawals, it should have followed and monitored the spending of the funds. The CBN also should have been transparent in terms of the amounts of returned stolen funds kept with it. Nigerians have the right to know where stolen funds are being held and what they are being spent on.”

“Nigerians have the right to know what roles the leadership of the CBN and other banks and financial institutions abroad played in aiding and abetting the stealing of the arms purchase funds.”

SERAP therefore urged the EFCC and ICPC to urgently institute a joint probe of the roles played by the leadership of the CBN and other banks and financial institutions in the stealing of over N70 billion arms purchase funds. The EFCC and ICPC should also:

1. Name those within the leadership of the CBN that facilitated the withdrawal and subsequent stealing of the arms purchase funds, and ensure that anyone found to be responsible is brought to justice promptly

2. Name and shame any banks and financial institutions complicit in the arms purchase funds

3. Work with the National Assembly and civil society to devise a system that will stop the CBN being used by high-ranking corrupt government officials to steal from the public treasury. It is unrealistic to expect that the CBN will ensure that other banks have adequate systems in place to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption if its own systems are seriously flawed. And high-ranking government officials will continue to exploit the CBN systems for their own profit at the expense of the public.


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  • e_orpheus

    Indeed, CBN and all the commercial banks that allowed human beings waltz into their premises and exit with stupendous amounts of cash in different currencies, clearly violating the money laundering act.

    • God dey

      Absolutely agree with you. The CBN in particular has learnt nothing from the Abacha loot

      • alkali2016

        Here’s the CBN audit result on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi…..

        • ₦38.23billion developed legs and got missing in Central Bank under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
        • ₦1.97billion was paid out in cash and entered on Central Bank accounts as “inexplicable
        expense” by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
        • ₦20billion was paid out in cash as Legal Fees by Sanusi Lamido to persons un-known,
        • ₦3.086billion was paid out in cash by Sanusi Lamido as expense ostensibly to promote
        Central Bank image,
        • ₦160billion was paid out by Sanusi Lamido at Central Bank for self-determined activities,
        • ₦240billion was discretionally doled out at will as ‘donations’ by Sanusi Lamido,
        • ₦1.12billion was taken in cash and entered in the account as paid to a non-operating airline
        for charter service,
        • ₦1.12billion was claimed as spent by Sanusi Lamido on lunch for twelve [12] CBN police
        guards in one year.

        • Wale

          And your principal didn’t arrest Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
          well either way, the current one, Emefi-ole will be arrested and sent to PRISON.
          Call it what you like, I call it “House Cleaning”

        • Bakanridi

          Any proof/documented evidence to justify the above? we shall be glad to have the scanned copies of this audit report.

        • Abiboss

          You are not serious. Why Jonathan didn’t do his job? Oh I get it because he wanted to steal too. Jonathan would have put Sanusi in prison if it was true. He forced him out not because of fraud. He kicked the guy out because he was disturbing him from stealing.

  • Nkem

    Breaking News!!!

    Rivers Govt: Amaechi Spent N82m to Host Soyinka to Dinner

    • Truthometer

      Please, make your case to EFCC with enough documentary evidences and witnesses. If you can’t substantiate your allegations, kindly include “otapiapia” in your dinner tonight, because Amaechi has come to stay. Extend this message to Wike and all your colleagues, pro-corruption foot soldiers too. Have a sad day!

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Dr. Okonjo Iweala reasons were clear and precise on the fund transfer for the arms deal to Dauki so let no one blame her for it because it was the president that approved it.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    If SERAP don’t know what to say, why not just keep quit rather than saying crap. I don’t see any sense in what they are saying because Okojo Iweala’s explanation has vindicated her out of the transferred money to Dasuki.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    SERAP lack facts and are just playing partisan politics. The pressure Nigerians put on Jonathan administration blaming him for not funding the Nigerian military to fight Boko Haram in the North East was the reason Jonathan had to tell Dr. Okonjo to transfer part of the money recovered from Abacha loot to Dasuki. I think Dasuki should be held responsible and nobody else because, he was given the money to equip the military. Okonjo should be left out of this story

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Okonjo Iweala was transparent when she was in government. The money that was transferred to Dasuki from the Abacha loot was approved by the president. And there is a document to that effect, So case dismissed. Why mention her name?

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Premium times will always publish a story that mentions madam Iweala. The question is why? These people have no evidence against Okonjo Iweala. They are just making baseless allegations. This is not fair on the former minister. She has released documents to that effect.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Okonjo Iweala did not allow excess withdrawal as this story wants it to seem.. It is so obvious that Okonjo has evidences of every false allegation against her. So there is nothing partisan politicians can do to her. She kept her records straight. Sahara Reporters will get tired and the truth will set the innocent free.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Madam Iweala acted in the interest of Nigeria. As at when this money was transferred the military needed funds to equip the military. So she had to accede to Dasuki’s request. How would she had known that Dasuki was going to use the money for something else? So what do Sahara Reporters mean by excess withdrawal? This is just playing destructive criticism.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Dasuki can not be held responsible without his accusers, this APC government. Don’t forget that even Buhari has been mentioned as one of the people that collected part of the money. Dasuki said he needed money, the president approved it, ordered Dr. Iweala to transfer it. There was no way Dr. Iweala would know that Dasuki was going to use the money for something else. Not that there was a caveat in the memo she sent to the president. She said that Dasuki, would return the money because it was a loan and is accountable to the president.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Madam Iweala is a crusader against corruption. There is no way she will condone such, and that is why the western world keeps acknowledging her hard work and transparency in all her dealings.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    The EFFC should not bother waiting time, Dr. Okonjo Iweala always keeps her records straight and clean.

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    The EFCC should not be used to bully the innocent. I have not seen why the EFCC should summon Okonjo Iweala because she has no issue with the arms deal.

  • Alamu Ogboriefon

    The spoke perperson of SERAP is talking like an uninformed person. Up to now no court has pronounced that #70 billion meant for procurement of arms and ammunitions was mismanaged or misappropriated. Equally, of all the 39 count charges against the former NSA in three different courts is almost #40 billion. And the charges are still remaining in the realm of allegations until otherwise proven beyond reasonable doubt. At beginning of this saga,the nation was told that former NSA diverted #643.8 billion(with foreign component of $2.2 billion) meant for acquisition of arms and ammunitions. Surprisingly, all the figures in charge sheets altogether amounted to almost #40 billion. The government should tell the nation where are the remaining alleged over #600 billion. The government should stop all these sensational and media trials,instead be diligent in its prosecution and stop feeding the nation with over bloated and mouthwatering figures in its fight against corruption. Corruption should be condemned and tackled by every citizen of this nation. And the government should truthful, credible and transparent about its actions,processes and pronouncements in the fight against corruption. SERAP should endeavour to tell us which court of competent jurisdiction affirmed that #70 billion budgeted for arms and ammunitions was STOLEN?

  • Goke

    I think I agree with your point. Nigerians
    should know that in the federal executive Council there are action(s) a
    minister cannot singularly take. The release of this report is just one of
    them. If this group knows what they are doing they will know that suing the
    Minister under the FOI will not produce the report. The minister honestly is
    innocent of the charge.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    Calling for the prosecution of Dr Okonjo-Iweala over the arms deal cannot hold ground. This is because she knows little or nothing about the said scandal.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    The group calling for the prosecution of Dr Okonjo-Iweala is bereft of facts. Therefore, SERAP should expend more of its time on things that are tangible.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    The anti-graft agencies in this country should not allow themselves to be used to prosecute innocent Dr Okonjo-Iweala who served Nigeria to the best of her knowledge.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    What meaningful impact has a group like SERAP made to call for the prosecution of the ever hard working Dr Okonjo-Iweala? Nigerians should ask questions.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    All moves to get Dr Okonjo-Iweala prosecuted over what she knows nothing about would definitely fail. She remains an embodiment of truth.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    She did the right thing as a coordinating minister of the economy. No wonder, she continues to get international recognitions.