Arms Scandal: Jonathan must be tried if involved –Senate leader

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Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, on Thursday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to authorise the prosecution of former President Goodluck Jonathan if he (Jonathan) covertly instigated the sharing for other purposes the $2.1bn given to former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to buy arms.

Ndume, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, also said the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the state.

The Senate Leader noted that if Jonathan, who approved $2.1bn for the purchase of arms, should turn back to give directive secretly that the money should be shared among his cronies, he should be prosecuted.

He said, “I do not want to dabble in that, being one of the victims of the insurgency. My house was taken over by insurgents and my town was declared a caliphate of the insurgents. My Emir was killed while these people were laughing all the way to the banks with the money that was meant to buy arms and ammunition.

“It was for lack of ammunition that the Nigerian Armed Forces had to run away. As far as I am concerned, these people are living on blood money; the blood of so many innocent citizens of this country particularly from the North-East.

“No justice is too much for them; nobody is supposed to be spared because the case is judicial and I am not a lawyer to determine who should be brought to book. What I am saying is that justice should be served.

“Over 10,000 people have lost their lives. At one time, you could see my people were slaughtered like chickens and the reason why this happened was because our Army was not equipped and not well kitted.

“Somebody made away with the money meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition.

“I am not defending President Jonathan but he approved that this money be used for procurement of arms.

“So, if the law says he should be part of those who should be part of the accountability or those that should face justice, I think nobody should be spared.

“I really don’t want to make comment on that but anybody that is involved in that blood money should be held responsible.

“If the President approved that money in the name of buying arms while giving a directive that it should be shared among his cronies, then he should face the law.

“If anybody is supposed to buy arms and you gave them money to buy arms, as the President, after some time, you should ask ‘where are the arms anyway’. Let me add and clearly that is my position, if because of this or any other criminality Jonathan should face the law, he should. I did, I am facing the law.

“Nobody is supposed to be above the law. If Jonathan is a culprit, he should face the law. If there is evidence that the former President should face the law, then, he should. After all, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

On the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Ndume said there was nothing wrong in the man, after appearing in the dock, to also preside over the red chamber.

He wondered why his own trial on allegations of being a Boko Haram sponsor was not getting the kind of attention that Saraki’s trial by the CCT was receiving.

He said, “Do you know that I am still in court on a more serious issue. The President of the Senate is in court for (alleged false) asset declaration but I am in court for a more serious issue, that I am alleged to be a sponsor of Boko Haram.

“I have been in court for four years; so, why is it not an issue? I have not complained, it is not a big deal. I am still the Leader of the Senate and my role is as important as that of the President of the Senate but it is not a big deal.”

On the killings going on in Rivers State, Ndume said Wike should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the state.

He noted that as the Chief Security Officer of the state, Wike should be on top of situation in his state.

Punch

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