The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has fixed date to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan.
A source within the agency told Reportsafrique.com on April 4 that the ex-president may be arrested before May 29.
The source hinged the revelation on the level of investigations carried out on Jonathan-led administration by officials of the commission, noting that he may be arrested before President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration clocks its first year in office.
According to the source, the arrest of Azibaola Robert, the managing director of Kakatar engineering and construction company two weeks ago was a clear indication that “we are inching close to making former president Jonathan our guest,” describing Robert as the closest kinsman of the former president.
The official described as careless, the recent remarks made by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who berated the commission and described it as a “toothless bulldog”.
The EFCC chief predicted: “Unfolding events in the next few weeks will actually confirm whether the EFCC has indeed become a toothless bulldog,” adding that: “We arrested Mr. Azibaola Robert on March 23, 2016 when he came to honour our invitation. We also arrested his wife, but she has since been granted bail. The following day, we arrested Dakoru Atukpa, Executive Director of his company. As we speak, both men are in our custody and are helping with vital information needed to nail the former president.”
The official also disclosed that Robert and Atukpa were arrested in connection to the ongoing investigations into $40million oil pipeline security contract, which stemmed from the ministry of petroleum, but was paid for by the office of the detained former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).
The source said the anti-graft agency is currently following a lead that indicates that One-Plus Nigeria limited, a sister company to Kakatar, which secured the oil pipeline security contract, may have acted as a front for Jonathan.
“Even though One-Plus appeared to have successfully executed the contract, we are interested in details of how the company executed the job, including those who got paid from the $40 million sum. Even though we are still investigating, there is sufficient suspicion that both men used One-Plus as front of the former President. The Managing Director of One-Plus has constantly maintained that the company was incorporated well before Jonathan became Vice President, and that it wasn’t a crime to come from Otuoke,” the official said.
The official said the commission is committed to proving Obasanjo wrong by taking on some people considered to be one of the sacred cows, saying: “You know former President Obasanjo has his unique way of passing his message. Before Obasanjo even described our Commission as a toothless bulldog, several persons accused us of shielding former President Jonathan. The truth is that we are not shielding anybody. It will not be good for us to rush to court only to be disgraced, the reason we took this long to make the arrests.
“However, be assured that a very big fish will land in our net before May 29. We intend to make the arrest of this big fish a Democracy Day gift to Nigerians,” the EFCC official said.
The EFCC official who declined to mention the big fish, however, ruled out the possibility of an early arraignment for Jonathan’s kinsmen.
The official said: “We will keep them in custody for as long as possible, and for as long as they cooperate and tell us the whole truth about what they know about the transactions, and the involvement of the former president. Fortunately, we have secured a court order to keep them (Jonathan’s kinsmen) for another two weeks. If need be, we will apply for an extension. But be assured that we won’t allow this matter go the way of others. With this case, we will prove those who accuse us of being toothless bulldogs wrong.”
When Austin Ekheinde, the head of media of Kakatar company was contacted, he refused to comment. He told journalists to speak with his boss’s lawyer Gordy Uche (SAN), who later confirmed the arrest of the duo by the EFCC.
“Yes, EFCC arrested my clients Messrs Azibaola Robert and Dakoru Atukpa, MD and ED respectively of Kakatar CE and One-Plus, on March 23 and 24th respectively, when they went to honour EFCC invitation,” Uche said.
Uche said his clients were detained in connection with a $40 million pipeline security contract as well as the purchase of a N650 million house. He frowned that the agency has refused to arraign them before a competent court for trial.
The lawyer further disclosed that EFCC operatives conducted several searches on the offices of his clients and carted away several documents, adding that he was reliably informed that his clients were being forced to make statements to implicate Jonathan in an apparently move to satisfy certain interests.
Meanwhile, a top officials of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier accused the EFCC for not going after what he termed “sacred cows.” The party chieftain has also been pressurizing President Buhari to allow EFCC go after Jonathan.
President Buhari might be absorbing such pressure considering the fact that former president Jonathan in the history of African leaders, is the first incumbent president to concede defeat in a presidential election before the electoral umpire officially announced the complete results.
The single act of humility and selflessness saved several lives that may have been lost in the post-election violence that might have trailed the announcement of the winner of the poll.
That same single act has fetched Jonathan several awards and more recognition both at home and abroad.
But, Femi Adesina, presidential media aide in an interview with Vanguard, said President Muhammadu Buhari is not shielding Jonathan from prosecution, saying: “People who say that don’t know this president. He shields nobody. Anybody that needs to be asked question can be asked question.”
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