Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has said it is impossible for his former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, to have stolen $2.2 billion as being accused.
Dasuki is currently standing trial for alleged money laundering and possession of arms.
He is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has found that much of the money was disbursed to individuals.
Responding to questions after his lecture on Youth Entrepreneurship at the famous Oxford Union in the United Kingdom, Dr. Jonathan, said: “They said the National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) stole $2.2billion.
“I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying 2.2 billion, so where did we get the money to buy all those things?
“Yes, there were some issues. Yes, there are still corruption issues but some of it is over blown. I’d say exaggerated and they give a very bad impression about our nation. You cannot say the national security adviser stole $2.2 billion. It is not just possible.”
He said that some of the corruption cases were still in court and would rather allow the legal processes to reveal the facts of the matter.
“One thing about the issue of corruption is that these matters are in court, let’s allow some of these processes to end.
“Lately some judges’ (homes) were also invaded. There are so many things involved and we have to follow up these matters to conclusion before we know the fact.
“I don’t want to be seen a former president challenging what the sitting government is doing so I have decided to keep quiet for the court to look into them.”
He said allegations of corruption were not unique to his administration or the country.
He said: “You will see that it has become a major topic whenever there is a change of government … I am not saying there is no corruption in Nigeria, there is corruption. If you look at corruption there is almost no country that is free, the degree varies, the perception varies.
“Transparency International talks about the way corruption is being perceived in different economies, why do we talk about the way corruption is being perceived, it depends on the issue raised in the media every day.”
Results of investigations have, however, shown that the money meant for the purchase of arms was tampered with as many of those named and arrested in partaking in the sharing of the $2.1 billion arms money have not denied collecting such monies from Dasuki.
The latest of such is the former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, who was arrested last week on his return from overseas.
He confirmed collecting money from the former NSO and gave a break down on how the money was shared, including the billions of Naira given to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state, for his election.
The former minister, who gave a graphic account of the movement of the money he collected from Dasuki, said he gave Fayose $5.36 million and personally offered to return the N780 million to the government.
While some culprits have refunded part of the loots, some others are pledging to return theirs.