Wednesday, November 18, 2015 8:22 am
Sambo Dasuki, Nigeria’s former national security adviser said he was never invited by the panel investigating the defence contracts awarded between 2007 and 2015.
He said this in a reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s order that he and accomplices indicted in the N644billion phoney contracts awarded in those years, should be arrested.
Contrary to his position, the DSS in a statement on 5 November had indicated that Dasuki had shunned several invitations by the investigative committee, a principal reason the DSS gave for disobeying the court order giving Dasuki a three week medical leave, from his trial for money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
“It may be recalled that Sambo Dasuki was initially arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering, for which reason his international passport was seized and on the order of the court, returned to the registrar for custody. What has however brought the seeming standoff between Sambo Dasuki and the Service, despite the court-ordered release of his international passport on 4th November, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a Committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case”, said the DSS.
“The public may wish to note that the government set up the Committee to investigate procurement processes relating to a two billion dollar ($2billion) arms transaction by the last administration, under which SAMBO was the NSA. It was on this premise that he was invited by the Committee to shed more light on his involvement in the deal. It, therefore, remains surprising and shocking that SAMBO has refused to honour invitations of the Committee but instead resorts to grandstanding and subtle blackmail of the Service. His refusal to appear before the Committee has left the Service with no option than to adopt legal means to ensure his attendance.
“Therefore, without doubt, SAMBO is pulling all strings available to him to evade justice and put the Service in bad light. The simple fact is that the DSS is not persecuting him. Nigerians are therefore enjoined to disregard the impression being created by him. This Service wishes to re-emphasise its commitment to the rule of law and strict adherence to democratic ideals. However, any person or group, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test the will of the present democratic dispensation, will definitely be checked through the legal provisions of the law.”
But playing the victims card on 17 November, Dasuki said in his statement : “Even though the committee was to investigate procurement from 2007 to 2015. Yet only my name is always being mentioned even when some of the issues were before I came into the government.”
Here is his statement:
“I have never been invited formally or informally to appear before the panel. I am therefore not only surprised but embarrassed by seeming indictment by the panel purportedly operating from Office of the National Security Adviser that never contacted me.
“For the record I am proud to serve my nation with the best of intention and ensuring the recovery of more than 22 local government councils from Boko Haram terrorists.
“Because of the pride on how we tackled terrorism and defeated Boko Haram terrorists through our gallant troops and partners in the twilight of the previous administration, that is the reason I have insisted on open and public trial of my stewardship rather than secret trial in the court as being canvassed by my prosecutors.
“I wish Nigerians will go back and reflect on what we did with even little or no supports from some countries, we performed miracles before the emergence of this administration. Even though the committee was to investigate procurement from 2007 to 2015. Yet only my name is always being mentioned even when some of the issues were before I came into the government.”