Tuesday, October 7, 2014 12:21 am
Nigeria has denied any wrongdoing over the $5.7million frozen by South Africa in a bank.
In a reaction to the news of the second seizure of another Nigerian money by South African authorities, a spokesman for Nigeria’s National Security Adviser explained:“We want to state clearly that a business transaction actually took place between a legitimate company in Nigeria and another legitimate one in South Africa through the bank,” said Karounwi Adekunle, speaking on behalf of Dasuki.
“In the course of events, the South African company could not perform and decided to refund the money. What is illegitimate in this transaction done through the bank?”, Adekunle asked.
The statement reminded South Africa of how Nigeria has provided a beneficial environment for South African companies like MTN, DSTV and a host of others to do business unhindered.
“It is our hope that South Africa would reciprocate this noble gesture”, the statement added.
The City Press of South Africa had reported Monday quoting its sister paper,Rapport, that the $5.7million was seized by The Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) though it bore the imprimatur of senior security officials from Nigeria.
According to the report from South Africa, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, a colonel, personally issued the end-user certificate for the arms the money was meant to buy.
An entire “shopping list” was supplied with the certificate, which included everything from helicopters to unmanned aircraft, rockets and ammunition.
Sources close to the investigation said the latest transaction was between Cerberus Risk Solutions, an arms broker in Cape Town, and Societe D’Equipments Internationaux, a Nigerian company in Abuja.
An impeccable source said this company paid the R60 million into Cerberus’ account at Standard Bank.
Cerberus was previously registered as a broker with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), but the registration expired in May this year.
The marketing and contracting permits also expired at the same time.
The company has since applied for re-registration, but the application lay in the NCACC’s mailbox for more than two months.
Sources told Rapport that Cerberus apparently tried to pay the money back to the Nigerian company, after which the bank became suspicious.
The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit subsequently obtained a court order in the South Gauteng High Court to seize the money.
The publicity around the second seizure, after the 5 September incident when two Nigerians and an Israeli were busted trying to bring $9.3million cash into South Africa, must have been a big embarrassment to the Nigerian government.