$2.1bn Arms Scam: I will speak at the right time-Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he is not yet ready to respond to allegations that his administration diverted about $2.1 billion dollar meant for arms procurement into other purposes.
Former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and some officials of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are presently standing trial in connection with their alleged involvement in the scandal.
Though the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu had said the commission had no evidence yet to warrant the arrest of the former President, there had been rumours and suggestions in certain quarters that Dr. Jonathan needed to be questioned.
But in series of messages on his Twitter handle, Jonathan, who is in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is holding a press conference, said he would react to the issue when the time is right
“My voice will certainly be heard at the appropriate time regarding the alleged arms funds mismanagement. I would not want to interfere with the proceeding by the judicial system that my administration worked tirelessly to strengthen.
“My post presidential focus is advancing democracy and good governance in Africa. If we do not spend billions to educate Africa’s youths today, we will spend it fighting insecurity tomorrow,” the President said.
Speaking further, Jonathan said, “I have an idea about some of the corruption cases you are talking about. The amount being mentioned in some cases are so huge, sometimes people think I was Nigeria’s President since independence.
“Sometimes, people just bandy figures. I remember somebody said we lost $49 billion in 18 months. The same man who made the allegation reduced the figure to 12 billion.
“I got forensic experts to probe the books of NNPC to ascertain the veracity of the allegation. I even remember asking the German Chancellor who said if that amount of money was missing in her country, it would be a big issue.
‘’The truth of the matter is that if we lose such amount of money within 18 months as the allegation said, the country will collapse.’’
On the disclosure that his administration was defrauded when the government negotiated with fake Boko Haram members, Dr Jonathan debunked the allegation saying, “People come up with all sorts of allegations. The truth of the matter was that we realized that the epicenter of the terrorist’s activities were in two states – Borno and Yobe, we decided to set up a committee of influential people in those two states to interact with their people to see if they can help in tackling the problem.
‘’We did not negotiate with Boko Haram. The people we negotiated with were militants in the Niger Delta and it was successful.
‘’Even the current President said recently that if they see credible members of Boko Haram, they would be willing to discuss with them. If somebody said we negotiated with fake members of Boko Haram, the person is just playing politics,” he said.
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