The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a statement by the National Legal Adviser of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Victor Kwon, alleging compromise and political witch hunts in the release of a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Brigadier-General Jafaru Isa, (retd) by the EFCC.
In the statement made available to the media yesterday, Kwon alleged that: “ 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 prosecute PDP leaders and decimate the opposition, a project the EFCC has clearly yielded itself as a willing tool”.
While the EFCC will not wish to join issues with Kwon in this regard, it is important that the public is presented with the facts regarding the release of Isa. The APC chieftain was arrested for his involvement in the arms procurement scam, to the tune of N170,000,000( One Hundred and Seventy Million Naira). Upon his arrest, the retired General admitted receiving the said sum from Dasuki and immediately refunded a total sum of N100,000, 000( One Hundred Million Naira only), with an undertaking to refund the balance of N70,000,000( Seventy Million Naira only) in two weeks. Besides, his health deteriorated after he was taken into custody. These two factors prompted the offer of bail to the suspect.
The grant of bail by the Commission does not amount to an exoneration of the suspect.
Unlike Isa, Metuh, who is exposed to the tune of N1.2Billion in the arms scandal has shown no readiness to refund any amount of money to the EFCC, nor signed any undertaking to do so at a future date. Metuh, contrary to claims by his party, is not being detained illegally as the commission obtained a valid court order to hold him.
There is no basis for a witch-hunt of Metuh. Nigerians are assured that he will be released once he satisfies the condition for the discretion to be exercised in his favor. Until that is done, the commission will not be intimidated or stampeded by any campaign of calumny that is intended to detract it.
Kwon claimed rather ridiculously that: “We have information of the marching order from the Presidency for the immediate release of the President’s associate and that his issue is one of the major reasons for the repeated visits of the EFCC Chairman to the Presidential Villa within the period of his arrest...”
This is far from the truth. No one micro manages the EFCC, not even the president. The EFCC is focussed and will remain un-deterred in its task of ridding the nation of all forms of corrupt practices.
There is no modicum of truth in allegations of selectivity, bias and witch hunt and the general public is enjoined to ignore such claims.
Head, Media & Publicity
11th January, 2016