A gift of $5 million has landed a staunch associate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the net of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), TheCable understands.
Lawal Jafaru Isa, a retired brigadier general who has been supporting Buhari’s presidential bid since 2003, was last week invited by the EFCC to explain the circumstances surrounding the million-dollar gift but failed to honour the invitation until he was picked up on Wednesday night.
Isa was a member of the Ahmed Joda-led transition committee set up by Buhari and is the first member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be quizzed by EFCC since the party took over power.
EFCC is working with the theory that the money, whose origin was also traced to the $2.1 billion arms fund allegedly diverted by Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, was given to Isa to buy his support in the 2015 general election.
Mohammed Abacha, reportedly the “courier” who passed the money to him, supported former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Abacha was in the race for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano state before he suddenly withdrew.
He left Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011 when Isa was preferred to him in the Kano governorship race.
Isa, who was military administrator of Kaduna state in the Abacha regime, was widely tipped to be the ministerial nominee from Kano state but Buhari instead picked Abdulrahman Dambazzau, former chief of army staff.
“Buhari initially wanted Isa, but he was disappointed when he got this report on him. Indeed, Buhari delayed naming his cabinet partly because it turned out that many of the people he initially wanted to pick did not pass the integrity test,” a presidential source told TheCable.