Nigeria's former security chief denies 'Boko Haram cash' fraud

2017-11-03 18:30
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Abuja - Nigeria's former national security adviser on Friday denied illegally channelling money meant for the fight against Boko Haram to fund Goodluck Jonathan's failed re-election campaign.

Sambo Dasuki told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he "did not enter into an unlawful act with respect to any transaction" with Olisa Metuh, who is on trial for corruption.

Metuh, the former spokesperson for Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is accused of receiving $1.1m from Dasuki before the 2015 vote.

The money allegedly came from defence funds earmarked to buy weapons and equipment for the Nigerian military tackling the Islamist militants in the country's remote northeast.

At the time, the army was being out-gunned and out-manoeuvred by the jihadists, whose insurgency has left at least 20 000 dead and more than 2.6 million homeless since 2009.

The case is one of the most high-profile in a series of trials linked to President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign against endemic corruption.

Both Dasuki, who is on trial separately accused of sending the defence cash to other prominent PDP members, and Metuh have said Jonathan was aware of the transactions

But the former head of state, whose wife and other close family members are facing claims of graft, is not thought to have been questioned.

Jonathan has been summonsed to appear as a witness in the Metuh trial but his lawyer said earlier this week that he was "not the proper person to testify".

The court also threw out a request for him to receive the equivalent of $2.7m to cover his security and logistics costs to attend the trial.

Dasuki, appearing as a defence witness, told Metuh's lawyer that he followed lawful procedure in all his transactions while in office between 2012 and 2015.

The alleged contract with Metuh's company and records of an electronic payment of the money have been shown to the court but Dasuki said he had "nothing to say".

"I have already mentioned, for any details I have to make reference to my records," he told the court.

Judge Okon Abang discharged Dasuki from the witness box and adjourned the case until December 4.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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