A former military governor of Kaduna State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Jafaru Isa, has refunded N100million of the N170 million he allegedly received from embattled ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
Mr. Isa, a retired brigadier-general, was arrested on Wednesday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, at his Asokoro residence in Abuja. Mr. Isa, a political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, was grilled for several hours in connection with about N170 million he received from Mr. Dasuki.
A reliable source familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES the APC chieftain and member of the 19-man Buhari Transition Committee was released after refunding N100million to the anti-graft commission. The source said Mr. Isa pledged to return the remaining N70million soon.
“We let him go after returning the sum of N100million. We are expecting him to return the rest soon,” the source said.According to him, some of the suspected recipients of the slush funds who claimed they had no idea the money sent to them was taken from the public till were handed opportunities to return what they got from the former NSA but refused.
“We offered them the chance of returning the money honorably but they keep deploying tactics to avoid prosecution, while also going away with the loot,” he said.
A close associate of Mr. Isa told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Dasuki lodged over N100 million into Mr. Isa’s account in instalments to buy a house, located on Mohammed Mohammed Avenue, Kano, for the former NSA.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that deposits were in turn made by Mr. Isa to the owner of the house, Ali Tukur, in two instalments.
However, the house purchase deal collapsed as a former Minister of Finance, Yarima Ngama, reportedly offered to pay the sum of N150 million cash when Mr. Dasuki reneged on the payment agreement.
Those familiar with their relationship say Messrs. Isa and Dasuki have been close friends since their cadet days at the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) and had spent four years together while on military training in the United States.
The Peoples Democratic Party had on Sunday protested the release of Mr. Isa barely eight hours after his arrest while its own spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, remained detained.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, said there could be no clearer indication that the APC-led administration was on a manhunt against PDP leaders, and that it had a personal grudge against Mr. Metuh, ostensibly for his stance as opposition spokesperson, particularly his recent exchange with the government and the APC over their dictatorial activities.
““The release of Jafaru Isa, a known associate of the President and chieftain of the APC eight hours after his arrest while our spokesman remains in detention even when the two are being investigated over the same allegation clearly shows that the President Buhari-led APC government is not fighting corruption but using the much hyped crusade as a cover to persecute PDP leaders and decimate the opposition, a project the EFCC has clearly yielded itself as a willing tool,” the statement said.