EFCC alleges bureaux de change’s involvement
IS the much-publicised $2.1 billion arms deal scam a hoax ? For a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Raymond Dokpesi, it is . Indeed, he described it as an imaginative creation of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to witch-hunt and decimate the leadership and membership of the PDP.
Dokpesi who was accused of complicity in the diversion of some $2.1 billion arms deal fraud had been arraigned on a six-count charge of money laundering and misappropriation of public funds among others.
In another development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says some bureaux de change operators may have been involved in the transfer of the alleged $2.1 billion.
An indication to this was given yesterday by the Acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, who warned that any bureau de change found culpable in the transfer of the funds, would not be spared. He was speaking during a courtesy call on his office by bureaux de change operators who had come to congratulate him on his appointment
Dokpesi, who spoke during his investiture as ‘Freedom Fighter of PDP,’ yesterday expressed confidence that the courts would sooner or later prove that “this coinage is nothing but a hoax.”
Dokpesi said the much-flaunted $2.1 billion arms funds scam was not only a figment of the imagination of the Federal Government, but was aimed at destroying PDP.
“I must hasten to assure you that there is nothing like the much-flaunted 2.1 billion USD arms gate. The competent courts of our land would sooner or later prove this coinage aimed at decimating the leadership and membership of our great party to be nothing but a hoax.
“It is meant to destroy the existence of PDP. The persecution of the former National Security Adviser, the persecution of the National Publicity Secretary, the persecution of our Chairman of Board of Trustees, will fail when we begin defence,” he assured.
He, however, said he would not make any comment regarding the several matters filed before the courts against him and other members of PDP “as doing so would be sub judice.”
Referring to the clampdown on Second Republic politicians when President Muhammadu Buhari was Military Head of State in 1983, Dokpesi said Nigerians “are reminded of the events of 1984/85 which by any stretch of comparison are similar to the events of today.”
The National Coordinator of PDP Youth Vanguard, Ibrahim Bala Aboki, who condemned the witch-hunt of PDP members by the ruling party, decried the Federal Government’s selective anti-corruption war and continuous arrest of PDP members by the anti-corruption agency.
The group had staged a protest at the PDP National Secretariat where it called for the immediate release of the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh.
A statement from the EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, on the courtesy visit, quoted Magu as saying: ‘‘There are fraudulent involvements of bureaux de change operators in the arms deal scandal. There are reports of some of your members withdrawing as much as N500 million in two, three, four tranches in this arms deal scam. So, I am greatly disturbed. I think there should be a documentation regarding your activities, as this will enable your group to checkmate anyone who is involved in any fraudulent activity.”
[The Guardian Nigeria]