In just a few years, Nigeria’s foreign reserve was depleted, Excess
Crude Account expended and official looting fully entrenched. The
Nigerian economy quivered, while elites occupying top government
positions pilfered. That was the case of Nigeria under former President
Goodluck Jonathan, making current president, Muhammadu Buhari. insist
that things must ‘change’.
“All frauds must stop. If they
don’t believe us, they should go and see those we caught red-handed with
public funds. This exercise will continue as long as this leadership
is here. Whoever takes anything that does not belong to him or that he’s
not entitled to, it’ll be documented and the person will be taken to
court. This is the only way I think we can bail ourselves out,” these
were the exact words of President Buhari recently, while addressing
State House workers in Abuja.
Before the President’s latest
remark, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on
June 4, partially fulfilled a promise the President made in London on
May 14 to publicize names and details of those involved in massive
looting of public funds. Mohammed released what seem to be an interim
report, indicating that government has so far, successfully retrieved
cash amounting to N78,325,354,631.82; $185,119,584.61; £3,508,355.46 and
€11, 250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.
were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of
cash and assets, during the same period: N126,563,481,095.43;
$9,090,243,920.15; £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.
Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totalled: $321,316,726.1; £6,900,000 and €11,826.11.
ministry also announced that 239 non-cash recoveries were made during
the one-year period including farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted
buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.
of the cases were being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS). The nation
currently battles with economic downturn with 29 of the 36 states of
the federation unable to pay salaries. This was partly blamed on the
monumental level of pilfering of public funds that occurred in the past
Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd):
Dasukigate’ is perhaps the biggest scam ever unravelled in the history
of Nigeria. The Buhari administration opened a can of worms when it
decided to probe spending of funds meant for procurement of arms and
ammunition under the immediate-past regime of former President Goodluck
A former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki
(rtd) and four others are presently standing trial for allegedly
laundering and diverting $2.1 billion (over N550 billion) arms fund.
This is enough to fund the 2016 proposed budgets of Ebonyi, Kebbi,
Sokoto, Edo, Yobe and Ekiti states altogether. Other top politicians and
former public officials are also being probed over the scam.
In spite of confessions by many of those arrested, Dasuki insists he has done no wrong.
A former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda is also being
prosecuted by the EFCC. He was first arrested in Abuja and taken into
custody in November 2015, was linked with other suspects over the
controversial Dasukigate arms procurement scandal.
minister allegedly received suspicious payments from the Office of the
National Security Adviser (ONSA), including N1.5billion through an
unnamed company, for unstated purpose. He also allegedly received
N1.275billion from Stallion Group during campaign for the last general
election and another N775million was also allegedly paid to him from the
office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unstated reason.
A former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, was also
nabbed in 2015 after he lost his hide-and-seek game with the EFCC. His
son Sagir was also arrested. Bafarawa was arrested for allegedly
receiving N4.6 billion meant for “spiritual purposes”.
Chief Raymond Dokpesi:
The Chairman emeritus of Daar Communications Plc. High Chief Raymond
Dokpesi is currently standing trial for his involvement in the
Dasukigate scandal. He was linked with receiving N2.1billion mostly for
‘publicity and media political campaign during the 2015 general
The alleged funds were said to have been transferred to
the accused by the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) through a First
Bank account operated by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited. He
was remanded in prison custody but later granted bail.
Alhaji Aminu Babakusa:
Babakusa was a former General Executive Director at the Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He allegedly received
N2.2billion, which he said during one of his appearances in court that
he shared out ‘as instructed’. He also promised to refund part of the
monies by selling some of his choice properties.
A former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic
Matters, Waripamowei Dudafa is also on trial for his alleged involvement
in the $2.1 billion arms deal fraud. He was arrested April while
attempting to board a flight at the Murtala Mohammed International
Airport, MMIA Lagos.
According to media reports, Dudafa was involved
in the sharing of N10billion taken from the office of the former NSA and
shared to PDP delegates for the Presidential primary election during
the 2015 general elections.
Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi:
In another widely-reported scam, a former Director-General of the
Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick
Ziadeke Akpobolokemi and five other staff of the agency, are currently
standing trial on a 22-count charge for allegedly stealing the sum of
N2.6 billion belonging to NIMASA.
Chief Olisa Metuh:
A former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Metuh is also
standing trial for receiving N1.4billion from the $2.1 billion arms
funds diverted to several politicians in the Dasukigate scandal.
Mr. Mba is a former Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting
Commission (NBC). He is, alongside three others, standing trial over an
alleged N17 billion fraud. The EFCC has reportedly recovered N10 billion
being part of the fund and which is from an alleged inflation of
collateral funds meant for Digital Set-Top Boxes.
Bala James Ngillari:
Mr. Ngillari was the immediate past governor of Adamawa State and is
being interrogated by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N450 million from
the Dasukigate bazaar. He has however denied any wrongdoing, denying
claims by a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Hassan
Adamu and the PDP chairman in Adamawa State, Joel Madaki, that they
collected the money from Fidelity Bank, Yola branch, and deposited it at
the accounts department of Adamawa Government House on the instruction
of the governor.
Mrs. Esther Nenadi Usman:
A former Minister of State Finance and Director of Finance of the
Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman reportedly
returned N23million to the coffers of the Federal Government after her
She is currently under trial after her arrest in April for
receiving N2.5billion out of the over N4 billion which was transferred
out of CBN into various individuals and company’s accounts; with N140m
cash allegedly paid into her Zenith Bank Account in January 2015.
allegedly paid the Director of Publicity of the campaign, Femi
Fani-Kayode N840million, Chief Olu Falae, and Rashidi Ladoja allegedly
received N100million each, Prof. Rufai Alkali, who was the Coordinator
of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG), allegedly collected N320million on
behalf of the group among others.
Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd):
The EFCC has filed 21 charges against a former Chief of Air Staff,
Adesola Amosu. He is currently under trial alongside a former Chief of
Accounts and Budgeting in NAF, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun (rtd); and a
former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo
(rtd.) Amosu has reportedly returned N2.3billion to the Federal
Government through two bank drafts. One draft was for N2billion, while
the second was N300million. His wife was also arrested by the EFCC over
the scandal totalling N22.8billion.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd):
former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was also
arrested by the EFCC over his role in the $2.1bn Dasukigate arms
purchase scam. According to reports, contracts totalling $930,500,690.00
were awarded by the military under the leadership of Badeh in
The disbursement of $115m (N23bn) by a former Minister of Petroleum
Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke for the 2015 elections is one of the
troubling revelations in the ongoing anti-graft war. Each state of the
federation was said to have received N450million from the fund. The
monies were said to have been handled by ministers or governors of the
then ruling PDP. There were also alleged payments to some Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) top officials, purportedly to rig
the 2015 elections through Fidelity Bank. The EFCC in connection with
the scam arrested a former managing director of Fidelity Bank, who was
forced to resign in the wake of the scandal.
The EFCC arrested Alhaji
Saidu Dakingari, immediate past governor of Kebbi State over the N450
million he allegedly received from Alison-Madueke during the build-up to
the 2015 presidential election. Other elites that have been quizzed by
anti-corruption agencies for their roles in the scandal, dubbed
‘Diezani-gate’, and they include former governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu
State, former education minister, Ibrahim Shekarau; ex-governor Ali
Modu Sheriff of Borno State, former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar
Ramalan Yero and former governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Shinkafi.
Mr. Ahmadu Fintiri acted as governor of Adamawa State in 2014, after a
former governor, Murtala Nyako was impeached by the state’s House of
Fintiri, who is under trial and has been remanded in Kuje
Prison pending the determination of his bail application, was arraigned
by the EFCC on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering.
was said to have defrauded the Adamawa government to the tune of N970
million and $4.8 million, when he was the governor of the state for
three months. He however pleaded not guilty to the charge.