7 January 2016

Nigeria: Why EFCC Arrested Lawal Jafaru Isa

Photo: Premium Times
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has quizzed All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain, Lawal Jafaru Isa.

Brig. General Jafaru Isa (retired) was a former military administrator of Kaduna State and a known associate of President Muhammadu Buhari.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest of Jafaru Isa in a sting operation Wednesday night at his residence in Abuja.

Uwujaren did not give reason why the former military governor was arrested.

Isa contested as the governorship candidate of the defunct Buhari party CPC in Kano State in 2011. He was also one of the 19 members of the Buhari Transition Committee led by Ahmed Joda.

A source told Daily Trust that Isa was arrested because he had failed to honour an invitation to report to the head office of the anti-graft agency.

The source said the agency wanted him to explain the circumstances in which he allegedly collected about N100 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

It was gathered that Jafaru Isa is being questioned about whether he was involved in the arms procurement scam in the office of the NSA.

Another source last night said Dasuki gave N135m to Jafaru Isa in 2013 to buy a house for him in Kano.

The source who told our correspondent on phone said the money was given to Jafaru Isa in piecemeal ranging from N30m to N20m.

"You know Jafaru Isa and Dasuki have been together since their days at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna. So, when Dasuki wanted to buy a house in Kano, he approached Isa.

"Isa got a house for him and he was sending the money piecemeal to him through his account. The transaction was not possible because of the way Dasuki was sending the money," he said.

"It was while they were investigating the Arms scam that they saw the transaction. But frankly speaking, it has no connection with it. It happened between 2013 and 2014," he said.

He said the former Governor of Kaduna State has since been released on bail by the EFCC.

Dasuki himself is on trial in three different courts over alleged fraud in the disbursement of $2.1 billion arms money.

The money is meant for the purchase of military weapons for the counter insurgency war in the north-east.

The federal government had accused Dasuki of extra budgetary spending of about N643 billion from the arms fund.

The EFCC had traced part of the money to the bank accounts of associates of the former NSA and their companies. Some of them have already been put on trial.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the EFCC is making moves to get a court injunction to keep the spokesman of the PDP Olisah Metuh in custody to allow for further investigation.

Metuh was arrested by the EFCC over 24 hours ago and is still being held to explain his connection to over N1 billion allegedly traced to a company account he has interests in.

The National Vice Chairman, South-South of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who was seen at the EFCC, said he was, along with PDP's National Legal Adviser, mandated by the party to visit Metuh at the anti-graft agency.

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