EFCC ready to probe Jonathan ministers and aides
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has concluded plans to commence the probe of the former President Goodluck Jonathan with investigations into the financial transactions of his ministers and aides.
The PUNCH learnt that the Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, had already directed that all petitions against former public officers at the federal level should be forwarded to him to be acted upon.
Findings showed that former ministers, special advisers, heads of parastatals and those of other Federal Government agencies would be invited for interrogation by the EFCC in few weeks from now.
Our correspondents learnt that the anti-graft agency would focus on those whose establishments attracted huge allocations from the Federal Government when Jonathan was in power.
Such ministries and agencies, it was learnt, included defence, petroleum resources and power.
Three top sources in the anti-graft agency confided in one of our correspondents that Lamorde was “determined to expose any corrupt act during the administration of the former President.”
One of the sources, who confided in one of our correspondents, explained that anti-graft operatives had yet to arrest any of the former ministers, special advisers and heads of agencies who served under the former President.
The source said, “I am not aware of anybody who has been summoned or interrogated by the commission. Those to be interrogated would be determined by the gravity of the allegations against them as contained in the petitions.
“What happened last week was that a directive was issued to move all petitions against public office holders under the former President to the office of the Chairman.
“The files will be studied and assigned to units to handle the investigations. It is based on the petitions that people will be summoned.
“Most likely next week, action would be taken on those petitions…”
But the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwajaren, denied knowledge of such a directive when one of our correspondents contacted him on the telephone on Monday.
“I am not aware of the directive you are talking about. It is not to my knowledge,” the agency’s spokesman said.
Reacting to the development, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, said the party was not afraid of a probe.
According to him, the party and former President Goodluck Jonathan have nothing to hide, saying all the party is asking for is that any probe must be within the ambit of the law.
Jalo said the PDP as a political party discharged its duty of providing leadership for Nigeria for 16 years and that it did so transparently.
He said, “I am sure Nigerians still remember that it was because of PDP’s desire to deal with the scourge of corruption that our government under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo established the EFCC and the ICPC. The records are there.
“All we are asking for is that there must be fairness and justice, whatever probe they want to carry out must have respect for the rule of law, good conscience and the fear of God.
“Such a probe must not be carried out based on vendetta or simply because somebody does not like the name or the face of somebody.”
Jalo also advised the All Progressives Congress-led administration to pay more attention to providing leadership to Nigeria, “rather than dissipating energy in the pursuit of trivialities.”
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, had in an interview last week, said President Muhammadu Buhari would probe Jonathan’s government.
He had said that the present administration would recover billions of dollars, adding that “the world is too small a place for anybody to hide if you are running from justice.”
“It doesn’t mean that anybody that has ill-gotten wealth will not regurgitate it. They will. Remember when he (Buhari) went to Germany for the G7 summit, he met with President Obama and Obama told him to just give us information on where the loot is hidden and we will help you recover it and the government has been working on that. So, that shows that looters will never go free,” he had said.
Operatives of the Department of State Services had invaded the houses of Jonathan’s National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) on Friday forcing the former NSA to a house arrest for 24 hours.
The security agency in a statement the following day accused Dasuki of felony, misuse of power and possession of destructive weapons.
It said it recovered from Dasuki’s home seven high calibre rifles (high assault weapons), several magazines, military related gear and 12 new vehicles, including five bulletproof cars.
A top officer of the DSS had confided in one of our correspondents that Dasuki would face further interrogations this week.
Also, the ex-President’s Chief Security Officer, Gordon Obua, was being detained as part of investigations into the security spending at the Presidential Villa during his time.
A lawyer to Obua has raised the alarm about the detention of his client.
The lawyer, Onochie Onwuegbuna, said in a statement that Obua had been in detention since July 16 without being told what offence he committed.