SaharaReporters has learned that some former staffers of the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organization have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleging that the campaign’s media leader, Femi Fani-Kayode, received N1.7 billion from embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki. Nigerian prosecutors have accused Mr. Dasuki, a retired army colonel, of masterminding a scheme in which more than $2 billion budgeted for purchase of weaponry for the military was instead distributed to a variety of politicians and associates of Mr. Jonathan.
Last year, Mr. Fani-Kayode beat a variety of money laundering charges at a Federal High Court in Lagos, charges of money laundering and financial crimes dating to his time as the Minister for Aviation under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were dismissed following series of deals with a trial judge.
A source in ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration told SaharaReporters that Mr. Fani-Kayode had received N1.7 billion directly from Mr. Jonathan in funds that they suspected came from Dasuki. The source claimed that the funds were handed to the former Aviation minister when he was acting as the main spokesman for then President Jonathan’s Presidential campaign organization.
SaharaReporters also learned that, shortly after his reported receipt of the large sum of funds, Mr. Fani-Kayode purchased several SUVs, including one for Precious Chikwendu, his girlfriend at the time.
A source at the EFCC told SaharaReporters that their investigators had traced a substantial amount of illicit funds to Mr. Fani-Kayode. The revealed that the former Jonathan spokesman worked hard to avoid leaving paper trails that could lead investigators to him, adding, specifically, that many of the transactions involving Mr. Fani-Kayode were made in cash.
All attempts to reach Mr. Fani-Kayode by phone were unsuccessful. However, SaharaReporters leave a message with one of his aides, but our correspondent received no return call at the time of this report.
Investigators’ focus on Mr. Fani-Kayode is the latest chapter in a series of revelations of numerous politicians who benefited from the defense funds that Mr. Dasuki allegedly turned into political largesse. Nigerian investigators have made several arrests of people tied to the apparent illicit sharing of the misappropriated funds.
Mr. Dasuki himself is standing trial for his role in disbursing the funds.