The Senate leader, Ali Ndume, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to beam its searchlight on former President Goodluck Jonathan over his role in the ongoing probe into the $2.1 billion arms fund.
Ndume, who made the call yesterday in a chat with journalists in Abuja, said it had become necessary for the anti-graft agency to go after the former president because he was said to have given approval for the purchase of the arms, which were allegedly not bought at the end of the day.
The EFCC is currently prosecuting the former National Security Adviser, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, whose office was in charge of the arms fund and who allegedly mismanaged and diverted the monies to his personal use and others. Some retired and serving military officers as well as chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are also facing trial for their role in the alleged diversion of the arms money.
The Senate leader added that if the current anti-graft crusade of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration must be seen to be a reality, the EFCC must not let Mr. Jonathan off the hook until he answers some pertinent questions.
When asked if the former president should be brought in for questioning, Ndume (APC/Borno South) said: “I do not want to dabble into that being one of the victims of the insurgency, my house was taken over by insurgents and my town was declared a caliphate of the insurgents, my Emir was killed while these people were smiling to the banks with the money that was meant to buy arms and ammunition. It was for lack of ammunition that the Nigerian Armed Forces had to run away.
“As far as I am concerned, these people are living on blood money, the blood of so money innocent citizens of this country particularly from the North East. No justice is too much for them, nobody is supposed to be spared. Because the case is judicial and I am not a lawyer to determine who should be brought to book, what I am saying is that justice should be served. Over 10,000 peple have lost their lives, at one time you could see my people were slaughtered like chickens and the reason why this happened was because our army was not equipped and not well kitted. And somebody made away with the money meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition.
“I am not defending former President Jonathan, but he approved that this money be used for procurement of arms, so if the law says he should be part of those that should part of the accountability or those that should face justice, I think nobody should be spared.
“If Olisah Metuh is using that as an excuse or a way to circumvent the law. I really don’t want to make comment on that but anybody that is involved in that blood money should be held responsible.
“If the former President approved that money in the name of buying arms while giving a directive that it should be shared among his cronies, then he should face the law. If anybody is supposed to buy arms and you gave them money to buy arms, as the president, after some time you should ask ‘where are the arms anyway’.
“Let me add and clearly that is my position, if because of this or any other criminality Jonathan should face the law, he should, I did, I am facing the law. Nobody is supposed to be above the law, if Jonathan is a culprit, he should face the law: if there is evidence that the former president should face the law then he should. After all he is presumed innocent until proven guilty”.