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US$9.3m Arms Deal: APC Demands FG To Clarify Dokubo’s Involvement

Niger Delta warlord, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo




The All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded President Goodluck Jonathan to explain the  mission of the repented former Niger Delta militant, Mujaheed Asari Dokubo, on the plane which illegally ferried US$9.3 million to South Africa, in which he, another Nigerian and an Israeli were arrested.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said since the Federal government has accepted ownership of the funds by saying the National Security Adviser (NSA) issued the end-user certificate for the arms purchase, it implied that the same government would know the involvement of all those aboard the plane.

Niger Delta warlord, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo

Niger Delta warlord, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo

The party asserted that this justified that the federal government has a lot of questions to answer on the whole deal, including whether Asari Dokubo was the contractor or the end user, who he was procuring arms for and for what purpose.

APC said the questions were pertinent because  the NSA, who issued the end-user agreement for the purchase, did not and could not purchase arms for any of the armed services. The Service Chiefs, it added have separate budgets from the NSA for arms purchase.

”Under our Constitution, the NSA is an adviser and has no executive powers to deploy troops from any of the services or purchase arms for them. That the arms purported to be purchased from South Africa were ordered from the office of the NSA is nothing but a mere fabrication, and raises serious questions about the motive for the purchase.

”Nigerians will therefore like to know on whose behalf Asari Dokubo was purchasing arms. This is very crucial because Asari Dokubo has been threatening that Nigeria will not know peace if his benefactor, President Jonathan, is not re-elected. Therefore, Nigerians will like to know whether he has started stockpiling arms to make his threat a reality, since elections are due in a few months’ time.

”If these arms are meant to fight insurgency, as the government has claimed, what is Asari Dokubo’s business purchasing arms for the Nigerian military, if indeed they were for the military? Does it not occur to the Nigerian government that this man who once took arms against the state may not have jettisoned his sinister plan against the same state? Which country will ever allow a man who once carried arms against the state to now be purchasing arms for the same state? Even if it is true that he is purchasing the arms for the state, what prevents him from also using the opportunity to purchase arms for his own sinister motive? Could this be why Asari Dokubo has been talking publicly and confidently, without official censure, that President Jonathan must be re-elected or Nigeria will not know peace again?” the party queried.

”In our Press Release on Tuesday, we again asked President Jonathan to come clean on the US$9.3 million and US$5.7 million deals. We also asked him to tell Nigerians the identity of the two Nigerians who were on the plane that illegally ferried money to South Africa. Now that the Nigerians are known, and they are the President’s men, the story has taken a new dimension,” it said.

APC contended that since those who claimed to be fighting for country’s  unity were probably the ones working against it, it is more urgent now, than ever, for the National Assembly to take these cash-for-arms deals seriously, instead of dismissing the concerns of Nigerians on the basis of some rules as the House of Representatives has glibly done recently.

Still, the opposition commended the media for keeping the story alive and for working hard to unearth the identity of the Nigerians aboard the ill-fated plane which illegally flew money into another country in violation of that country’s laws and all known tenets of decency.

In view of its constitutional role of a watchdog, APC urged the mass media not to relent in exposing the circumstances surrounding the arms deals, which have seriously embarrassed Nigeria in the comity of nations and which have the potential to threaten Nigeria’s unity, going by the latest revelations.

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