Dasuki Vs FG: Court To Rule On N5bn July 2

The Federal High Court in Abuja will on July 2 deliver judgment on the propriety or otherwise of the two and a half years long detention of the immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

Dasuki, in the suit, asked the court to declare his detention by the Department of State Service since December 29, 2015 illegal and award in his favour the sum of N5bn as “general damages and compensation” for the alleged violation of his rights.

Arguing his client’s suit which was filed March 15, this year, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), said there was no legal basis for keeping the ex-NSA in detention for over two years.

Joined in the suits as the respondent were the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, the DSS itself, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, all of whom opposed the suit on Monday.

DSS operatives had on December 29, 2015, re-arrested and took Dasuki into custody shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison in Abuja on meeting the bail conditions imposed on him by the courts where is being currently prosecuted.

He had been granted bail by both the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, where he is facing two separate sets of charges of diversion of funds earmarked for purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North-East, and the Federal High Court in Abuja where he is being prosecuted on charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.

He instituted the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018, on March 15, 2018, following the Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on March 2, 2018, dismissing his case in which he had sought an order stopping his trials until he was released from “unlawful” detention.

Earlier before the Supreme Court’s judgment, he had obtained a favourable judgment of the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice delivered on October 4, 2016, ordering his release from illegal custody but which the DSS had not obeyed.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Raji, told Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday that the continued detention of his client on the grounds that he would constitute a threat to national security if released, was not legally justifiable.

Raji said the allegations of diverting of funds meant for fighting insurgency and being in illegal possession of firearms were already the subjects of his client’s ongoing trials in which the the ex-NSA had been granted bail, thus could not be the basis ‎for his continued detention.

Dasuki’s Trial To Enjoy Accelerated Hearing

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has adjourned the trial of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in the alleged money-laundering charges brought against him by the federal government till May 2 and 3 for definite trial.

A judge of the court, Husseini Baba-Yusuf, announced the new trial date in Abuja after being presented with the Supreme Court judgement of March 2, 2018 which ordered accelerated hearing into the case.

However, to ensure effective management of the two separate charges against Mr. Dasuki and other defendants, the court fixed April 13 for a pre-trial conference to be attended by seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) involved in the case so as to enable them take common positions on documents from the prosecution and those from the defendants.

During the conference which will be presided over by Mr. Baba-Yusuf, all documents that are not contentious will be admitted from the bar while the contentious ones are to be tendered during trial to ensure speedy hearing of the cases which was filed in September 2015.

Senior counsels involved in the matter, especially Rotimi Jacobs for prosecution, Ahmed Raji, Akin Olujimi, Olajide Ayodele, Kayode Olatoke, Hakeem Afolabi and Solomon Umoh who are standing for different defendants in the trial all agreed with the Supreme Court decision for accelerated hearing and the pre-trial conference to sort out all the contentious issues.

Ahmed Raji, who led the legal team of Mr. Dasuki, had told the court that the decision of the Supreme Court indicated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is different from State Security Service (SSS) and that both are not serving the same government.

The federal government had slammed charges against the former NSA Sambo Dasuki; Salisu Shuaib, Director Finance ONSA; Aminu Baba-Kusa, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital on alleged money-laundering and criminal breach of trust.

Although the charges was filed in 2015, proper trial could not commenced due to the failure of the federal government to allow the principal defendant in the matter, Sambo Dasuki, to enjoy the bail and other bails granted him by different courts since 2015.

In the bid to enforce the bail order, Mr. Dasuki had approached the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court to compel the federal government to allow him go on bail as ordered by the trial court, just like other defendants, to enable him access his lawyers and prepare for his defence as required by law.

However, both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court had in their separate judgements disagreed with Mr. Dasuki that the federal government did not obey the bail order.

The two court held that since his bail at the Kuje Prison was endorsed by the Controller of Prison and was released before he was re-arrested by another of the federal government, the bail had been obeyed at that level.

With the new Supreme Court decision, especially on accelerated hearing, full scale trial is now expected to commence on May 2.

Justice Baba-Yusuf in his brief comment had appealed to the senior lawyers involved in the matter to cooperate with one another, especially with the prosecution to allow the trial to flow so that justice of the case can be met within a reasonable time.

The judge said that as minister in the temple of justice, the senior lawyers should do away with sentiments and do their jobs as legal practitioners of reputable standing in the interest of justice for both parties.

At the proceeding, apart from Mr. Dasuki, former Governor of Sokoto, Attahiru Bafarawa; and former Finance Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda among others were all present in court to answer the charges against them.

Dasuki’s Corruption Trial Adjourned

An FCT High Court on Wednesday adjourned until March 22, continuation of hearing in the case involving former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, pending the outcome of judgement of the Supreme Court on his appeal.

The judge, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, adjourned the case after Mr. Dasuki’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, holding the brief of Joesph Daudu applied for adjournment.

Mr. Adedipe informed the court that Mr. Dasuki’s matter is pending at the apex court and the outcome of the judgment on March 2, may affect the case pending in the trial court.

He also expressed surprise that Mr. Dasuki was not in court.

Responding, Henry Ajiga, holding the brief of Rotimi Jacobs, who did not oppose the application, prayed the court to adjourn it to the same day with a sister case.

He also expressed surprise on Mr. Dasuki ‘s absence, adding that the date for hearing was transmitted to the agency holding him.

Mr. Dasuki is standing trial on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N13.6 billion.

On trial along with Mr. Dasuki were Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two others (NAN )

Supreme Court To Rule On Dasuki’s Detention March

The Supreme Court on Monday fixed March 2 for judgment on an appeal by former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, challenging his alleged indefinite detention.

The panel of five Justices, led by Dattijo Mohammed, gave the date after counsel to the parties in the case adopted their addresses.

The ex-NSA had on June 15, 2016 at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, lost his bid to enforce his freedom after securing bails on all the charges against him.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Mr. Dasuki is standing trial for allegedly mismanaging $2.1 billion meant for purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents.

Mr. Dasuki’s counsel, Joe Daudu, argued that the decision of the Court of Appeal was erroneous, adding that it was incumbent on the Supreme Court to restore the integrity of all courts.

Mr. Daudu submitted that it was out of place for the court of appeal to scuttle the fundamental rights of a citizen after well-considered decisions of four courts that admitted the applicant to bail.

He said that his client needed the bail to prepare his defence, adding that he could not have access to security documents while in detention.

“My Lords, Dasuki is already being treated as a convict, even when none of the charges brought against him has been concluded.

“We sincerely pray this esteemed court to do the needful by setting aside the decision of the lower court.

“We also pray the court to momentarily halt the applicant’s trial until the federal government obeys the bail order of court,’’ Daudu said.
Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to EFCC, opposed the appeal, saying that it lacked merit and should be dismissed.

He said the bail condition granted Mr. Dasuki was perfected on December 29, 2015, adding that a warrant of release to that effect was served on the Comptroller of Prisons in Kuje, upon which he was released.

Mr. Jacobs said the federal government had not violated his rights, adding that the applicant was only re-arrested by the operatives of the SSS over other fraud allegations.

He said that it was unfair for the applicant to consider his re-arrest as a disobedience to court’s order on his bail.
He said that no court bail was targeted at the SSS when granted.
“The EFCC which put Dasuki on trial on criminal charges at the FCT High Court cannot be held responsible for the action of the DSS on the ground that the two agencies are different entities.

“Besides, My Lords, the appeal court has said there was no existing order against the re-arrest of Dasuki.
“Suffice to say that there cannot be a disobedience to a non-existing court order.

“We pray the apex court to affirm the decision of the lower court which ordered the continuation of the applicant’s trial even while he remains in detention,’’ he said.

Mr. Dasuki had approached Supreme Court praying it to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which exonerated EFCC from his re-arrest shortly after he perfected his bail conditions.

He further asked the court to void the ruling of the Federal High Court.

The trial court had held that DSS and EFCC were distinct agents of the federal government, which is the complainant in the charges against the applicant.

Mr. Dasuki had alleged that such pronouncement had given the two agents of government handling the trial to act at variance and against justice.

(NAN)

Presidency Exposes Jonathan’s Incompetence Over Boko Harm

The Presidency reacting to claims by the former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki that the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorist to make elections possible in 2015, has said the monster of terrorism got bigger and more daring due to the incompetence and misgovernance of the Goodluck Jonathan’s  administration.

Dasuki had stated in his foreword to a 308-page new book titled, “Boko Haram Media War- An Encounter with the Spymaster” written by Yushau A. Shuaib that “In fact, without our intervention in ensuring the defeat of Boko Haram, the electorates could not have had the opportunity to exercise their franchise. It is a fact that we provided peace and stability that afforded Nigerians, especially in the North-East in voting for their governors, legislators, and others in the 2015 elections.”

The senior special assistant on media to the president, Garba Shehu in a statement described  the reports as untrue and should be dismissed as an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies.

“The superlative claims by the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki that the Goodluck Jonathan administration cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015 is untrue and should be dismissed as an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies.

“The claim is contained in a new book by a journalist is just another unfortunate attempt by inglorious Nigerians to rewrite the history of our country in such a way as to cover the sins of the past.

“We will have to read the entire text to offer a full and adequate response.

Recall that a few months ago the Presidency had facilitated the release of 80 Chibok girls and had reunited them with their families.

 

Dasuki Didn’t Steal $2.2 Billion – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has come to the defense of his former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki is presently facing trial for the embezzlement of funds meant for purchase of equipment and other logistics for the war against the insurgents, Boko Haram, in the North-East.

Speaking at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Jonathan maintained that Dasuki didn’t steal $2.2 billion.

In a statement by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former President said that he worked for next the generation during his tenure and not next election.

Defending his administration’s Transformation Agenda, he said that it was designed to engage the latent potential in the entire nation and stimulate higher productivity.

He said: “While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.

Jonathan, who was speaking to students of Oxford University on youth entrepreneurship, also pointed out that quality education and youth empowerment were at the heart of Africa’s growth and development.

“I am excited to be in the midst of some of the World’s future leaders to discuss issues relating to youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom.

“Most violent crises in Africa can be traced to a lack of education and opportunities among its teeming youth population. Studies have revealed that there is a symbiotic relationship between youth unemployment and youth restiveness.

“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The Transformation Agenda was conceived to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, and to stimulate and enable higher productivity,” he added.

He emphasized that his Administration came up with various programmes to encourage young entrepreneurs including the youth enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN). We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the problems associated with in our country without much publicity.

“We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria. A growth that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people. Nigeria was rated as the
largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank and the IMF, with a GDP above US$570 billion.”

“We identified Nollywood as a sector that can employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost the industry. As a result, Nollywood became a major contributor to our GDP and in 2014, the industry contributed 1.4% to our GDP.

Jonathan also recalled that as Governor of Bayelsa State and later the President of Nigeria, he asked himself some critical questions:

“Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up differently, with some as successes and others as failures? Why are some nations rich and some poor? Is the wealth of nations a result of geography, weather, culture, destiny? What could a leader do to effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty, and enable them to achieve prosperity?

“After much soul searching, I concluded that: wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education. Any nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youth will be forced to use them to fight insecurity”

He challenged African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries.

Despite incredible challenges, he said that Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map.

The Nation

Nigeria Not Duty-Bound To Follow Ruling Of ECOWAS Court On Dasuki – Presidential Aide

The Nigerian government is not obligated to obey a ruling of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Court that a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, be released from the custody of the State Security Service, a presidential aide has said.
The ECOWAS Court, on October 4, had declared the continued detention of Mr. Dasuki unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty.
The former NSA is accused of misspending billions of dollars meant for procurement of arms for fight against Boko Haram. The government also accuses him of illegal possession of firearms.
Mr. Dasuki was arrested in December 2015, and has been in detention since then.

“It is advisory opinion,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s adviser on prosecution, Okoi Obla, said of the ECOWAS’ court ruling, in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

“The ECOWAS Court cannot enforce opinion. The government is not obligated to obey the ruling of the ECOWAS Court.”
The ECOWAS Court was created pursuant to the Article 6 and Article 15 of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS, the political-economic bloc of the West African countries.
Nigeria is a signatory to the Treaty which is “binding on the member states, the institutions of the community, individuals and corporate bodies,” as its Article 15(4) provides.

But Section 12(1) of the Nigerian Constitution says “No treaty between the Federation (Nigeria) and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted by the National Assembly”.
The National Assembly has not domesticated the Revised Treaty and the Supplementary Protocol regarding the ECOWAS Court.
Regardless, analysts expect Nigeria to obey the ruling as an exemplary demonstration of its leadership position in the West African sub-region.
Mr. Obla cited countries he said had disregarded international law.
“Look at Israel; Israel has disregarded all international rulings. The so-called bastion of democracy, America, has flouted all judgements of the ICJ against America. They even refused to be signatory to the ICC treaty,” he said.
He said the “national interest” and “security” of the country “are the most important considerations”.
Asked if releasing Mr. Dasuki could threaten Nigeria’s security, he said, “Well he was a National Security Adviser. That’s a very powerful office; and he’s a Prince”.
Mr. Obla said “cumulatively”, Mr. Dasuki misappropriated $15 billion meant for procurement of arms to prosecute the war against Boko Haram terrorism in the North East.
He denied that Mr. Buhari was being vindictive and acting in contempt of court in the case of Mr. Dasuki.
“The president has not disobeyed any law regarding Dasuki. The first charge against Dasuki was unlawful possession of firearms. They brought application for his bail which was granted. As he was perfecting his bail conditions and before he was released, he was arrested for another offence. That’s it.
“If you are arrested for manslaughter, you asked for bail and the bail is granted. But as you are about to be released, the police come to say you are accused of killing another person two years ago, that has cancelled the first bail.
“There is no evidence that the federal government is in contempt of court,” he said.
He, however, said the government was “still studying the judgement”, echoing an earlier position of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

ECOWAS Court Orders FG To Pay Dasuki N15m For Damages

…Declares his arrest and continued detention illegal

The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has declared the arrest and continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty.

The Court said it was wrong for the Federal Government to continue to detain him over undisclosed offences after he had been granted bail by three deferment courts before which he had been arraigned.

The court, in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel, read by Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke awarded N15 million damages against the Federal Government and ordered it to immediately release him and his properties that were confiscated by state’s agents.

The court, which held that the Nigerian state was unable to substantiate its continued detention of Dasuki, also faulted the search of his houses in Abuja and Sokoto without valid search warrant.

The judgment was on a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed earlier this year by Dasuki.

Release Sambo Dasuki Now, ECOWAS Court Rules

The Court of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, on Tuesday declared the arrest and detention of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as unlawful and arbitrary.

The court also held that the further arrest of Mr. Dasuki by government on November 4, after he was granted bail by a court of law, amounts to a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.

Mr. Dasuki is facing multiple trials for alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms in the immediate past administration.

He is also accused of illegal possession of fire arms.

He approached the ECOWAS court after he was rearrested by members of Nigeria’s State Security Service shortly after meeting his bail conditions in November last year.

He has remained in the custody of the SSS since his arrest.

On Tuesday, a three-member panel led by Justice Friday Nwoke said Nigeria’s government was wrong in arresting Mr. Dasuki without a search warrant, adding that the pattern of arrest negates the provisions of Section 28 of the Nigerian Police Act.

According to the said section, a superior police officer may authorise the search of a resident belonging to a suspect assumed to be in illegal possession of an item, if the officer so authorised has a search warrant.

The court also noted that Section 143 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, allows that where such a search is proposed by the police or other authorities, an application must first be made to a court of law and and granted after due consideration of the said application, in compliance with section 144 of the ACJA.

The court further said the submission of Nigerian government that it came with the search warrant to Mr. Dasuki’s house but could not give it to him, because officers at his residence resisted the security operatives, was ineffective in proving its points.

Acording to the judge, the search warrant presented before the ECOWAS court was not certified and therefore lacks verifiable authenticity.

The court said government failed to prove its reasons for arresting and detaining Mr. Dasuki, as documents presented before it only emphasised the allegations of fraud and illegal possession of arms.

It added that the ECOWAS court was not set to determine whether or not the possession of arms by Mr. Dasuki amounted to an offence or not.

It however decided that the arrest was unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of local and international rights to liberty.

The court ruled that Federal Government should pay a sum of N15 million as damages to Mr. Dasuki.

It also decided that the cost of litigation will be summed up and charged against the Nigerian government.

Premium Times

Dasuki Trial Stalled As SSS Fails To Present Ex-NSA In Court Again

The Federal Government has again failed to produce the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, before an Abuja High-Court for trial.
Mr. Dasuki is accused of money laundering and corruption.
He was charged along with five others before Justice Peter Affen, and was granted bail. He was re-arrested and kept in custody of the State Security since December 2015.
Others being prosecuted along with the former NSA include a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former finance minister of state, Bashir Yuguda; a former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.
At the resumed trial Thursday, counsel to the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacob, told the judge that he was surprised that Mr. Dasuki was not brought to court by his client.
Mr. Jacob said on his part he notified the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the trial and the need to produce Mr. Dasuki in court, but said that communication gap between the EFCC and SSS was responsible for non-production of the former NSA in court.
Mr. Jacob applied to Justice Affen to stand down the case for him to enable his client to produce Mr. Dasuki in court.
He could not give a definite period within which the EFCC would bring the ex-NSA to court.

The action of the prosecution provoked reactions from Olajide Ayodele (SAN) counsel to former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Yuguda, who opposed the request.
The senior counsel said the failure of the prosecution to give a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be brought to court by either EFCC or SSS was an indication that he haD no knowledge of what was transpiring between the EFCC and DSS on the matter.
Mr. Olajide therefore pleaded with the judge to adjourn the trial.
His position was adopted by Jacob Daudu, who stood for Mr. Dasuki and regretted that the government which put the ex-NSA on trial was the one scuttling the trial.
Mr. Daudu said since June when the matter was adjourned, the EFCC which initiated the trial on behalf of the Federal Government ought to have known that it its responsibility to produce Mr. Dasuki in Court as required by the law.
Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who stood for former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, also opposed the request to stand down the case without a definite time.
He pleaded for an adjournment.
In his ruling, Justice Affen agreed that it would be unfair to stand down the case without a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be produced in court.
The judge advised the government to ensure Mr. Dasuki is in court, and adjourned the matter till October 21, 2016.

Jonathan Ordered Dasuki To Give Me N100m

A former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, says the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), gave him N100m on the instruction of Jonathan.

Okupe, who served as Jonathan’s spokesman from 2012 to 2015, added that he received N10m monthly from Dasuki to pay salaries and run a weekly programme on NTA.

The former presidential aide said this in a Facebook post on Sunday while reacting to his arrest and interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had alleged that Okupe received N85m from Dasuki at different times.

In his reaction, Okupe said, “The initial N50m was approved by the President (Goodluck Jonathan) to be paid to me from his security vote. N10m was to furnish my rented living apartment and another N10m for my office. The balance N30m was approved as take-off grant.

“The N10m I received from the ONSA monthly was to run my office, pay salaries of members of staff, including overheads, pay expenses for our numerous press conferences, pay for publications in newspapers, magazines, local and foreign, television programmes, bulletins, and media consultants who assist and facilitate our work. I had about 23 (members of ) staff, 11 were graduates out of which five were Master’s degree holders.

“The second N50m was approved again by Mr. President when I reported to him that the monthly allowance had been cut from N10m to N5m and that I was no longer in a position to keep running a one-hour NTA network programme called INSIGHT which was aired 9am to 10am every Friday.

“We paid NTA about N1.2m monthly for airtime. Two presenters were paid N600,000 monthly. The lead presenter on INSIGHT earned N400,000 and the second presenter earned N200,000. Total N600,000.

“We paid for tapes and editing per programme. Besides, we also paid honorarium for guests either directly or in form of hotel bills for those outside Abuja, or transportation.

“This cost averagely N500,000 weekly or about N2m monthly. All in all, we spent about N4m monthly on the programme. Mr. President promised to help with the expenses. About a few months later when we had incurred some debts the NSA sent me this N50m which was to cover the cost of the programme for 12 months.”

Okupe further clarified that his monthly allowance was not his salary but meant for the running of his office. He said out of the N10m given to him by Dasuki monthly, 40 per cent went on salaries.

“Salary sheets with names and offices of employees were submitted to the EFCC. I was paid my salary of N853,000 per month through the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation,” he said.

Okupe, who was also quizzed for allegedly receiving some dubious contracts from a local council in Niger State to the tune of N76.5m, said his company, Romix Soilfix, was one of the over 20 construction companies who were duly awarded contracts for rural roads some five years ago by the Niger State Government.

He explained that due to lack of funds, contractors were paid irregularly making the job to drag.

“The job is still ongoing. The relationship of this to my service as senior special assistant to President is still not clear,” Okupe said.

The former presidential aide criticised the EFCC for allegedly releasing details about his health.

Okupe confirmed that he suffered a heart problem and he only explained this to investigators to prevent him from being detained.

He added, “I was born with sinus bradycadia, a non-disease based slowness of the heart. It precluded me from vigorous exercise from childhood but I have, by God’s grace, been able to live a normal and active life.

“With age, the slowness grew worse and life-threatening. I sought medical help and went through a procedure at the Arrhythmia Cardiac Research Centre in Atlanta, where this defect was corrected. It was just a year ago and I am still under satellite monitor from the USA. This is what I revealed to the EFCC and they made it a public issue.”

Okupe maintained that he was not a thief, adding that he had only two houses: one in Lagos and one in his hometown.