*Accord Leader did n’t know money was for arms procurement
By Adeola Oladele in Ibadan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will soon interrogate former Oyo State governor and Accord party National Leader, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, and former Minister of Finance and Afenifere Leader, Chief Olu Falae, over the N100million each of them received from the former National Security Officer (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The money, which the two leaders collected, has been traced to the $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition by the former NSA.
Barely 24 hours after Falae admitted collecting N100million from ex-Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, to campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan in the last 2015 election, another top politician from the South-west, Ladoja, also owned up to collecting N100million from Anenih.
A source in EFCC told WESTERN POST that both Ladoja and Falae would be quizzed over the money.
“We are trying to get to the bottom of the arms procurement scandal. And so like others who have been fingered to have collected from the money meant for arms procurement for the soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the North-east and are being interrogated or prosecuted over the matter, Senator Ladoja and Chief Falae will also have their day before EFCC operatives,” a source at the agency said.
“They will say all they know about the money; return it or face prosecution,” he added.
Several prominent Nigerians have at one time or another been arrested or facing prosecution over the arms money.
Among them is former Chairman of DAAR Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who was recently granted bail by a court in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who is still in detention, and ex-PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bello Muhammed Haliru and his son, and an associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, Col. Jafaru Isa (rtd).
The Accord party, the platform on which Ladoja contested the last governorship poll in Oyo State, had on Friday admitted that it collected N100million from Anenih.
The National Secretary of the party, Nureni Adisa, said in a statement that the money was given to Accord through its National Leader, Ladoja, by Anenih in order for it to support former President Jonathan in the last presidential election.
Ladoja is said to be in Canada at present. But defending the collection of the said money on Saturday, Accord Spokesperson in Oyo State, Barrister Nureni Adeniran, told WESTERN POST through the telephone that accepting the money was not an offence, since it was not indicated that it was meant for arms purchase. A member of Accord, who contested for Oyo Federal the House of Representatives seat in the last election on the platform of the party, Prince Kabir Gbadegesin, also said Ladoja had no knowledge of what the money was meant for. Gbadegesin accused the EFCC and the governing All Progressives Congress of witch-hunting top opposition figures through the arms issue. “Lodoja could not have collected such money if it was clearly stated it was meant for arms procurement,” he said.