Indications have emerged that President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, whose jet was used to move the sum of $9.3 million cash to South Africa may be involved, despite his denial that he knew nothing about how his jet got to South Africa as it had been leased out.
This came as Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola described the ongoing controversy as a shame, saying it had made Nigeria a laughing stock amongst the committee of nations.
New York-based online news platform, Sahara Reporters reports that Pastor Oritsejafor, President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, coordinated the movement of the cash, whose original destination was Cyprus and not South Africa. The news platform who credited the information to a top security source further reported that the ‘lease excuse’ being used by Oritsejafor to claim innocence was concocted in August to enable Pastor Oritsejafor deny knowledge of the deal, should any backlash surface. Reports have said that the documents tendered by the three men who flew the money into South Africa on a private business jet included an invoice from a company identified as Tier One Services, to a company in Cyprus, ESD International Group Ltd, for the supply of helicopters and ammunition, laying credence to the information by Sahara Reporters’ security source.
In its defence of the movement of the $9.3 million, the federal government had claimed that the officials were going to use the money to buy arms from Tier One in South Africa, a company that sells security products. However, the company was said to be unlicensed for the sale and rental of arms and ammunition in the country. The transaction was also said not to have been registered with the appropriate South African agency, as required by laws regulating transactions relating to arms in the country.
Pastor Oritsejafor’s Bombardier jet was on September 5 seized by South African authorities after the sum $9.3 million was found with an Isreali, Eyal Miseka and two yet to be identified Nigerians at the Lanserai airport.
Speaking at the 2014 Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Colloquium held at the University of Lagos, Fashola lamented that the government had made Nigeria a laughing stock due to way the issue has been managed. He asked if the late activists, Fawehinmi would have stood to watch things like this happen in the country.
“And this happened because of the value choices that we have made. Let us stop pointing fingers at those people, you all voted for them. They are representatives of the values we have chosen to live with,” quipped Fashola.