Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, received an extra-budgetary allocation of $2.1 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) within nine months after approvals by former President Goodluck Jonathan, TheCable can report.
Dasuki is currently being investigated by the federal government over the billions of dollars released for the procurement of arms for counter-terrorism operations under Jonathan.
Documents seen by TheCable showed the breakdown of NNPC’s disbursements to the office of the NSA as follows: $1 billion on March 27, 2014; $200 million on April 9, 2014; $600 million on May 5, 2014; and, same day, $200 million following a request for $250 million.
The documents also showed that on January 12, 2015, he got $100 million, bringing the total amount his office received from the NNPC to $2.1 billion within the nine months.
All these were outside the statutory budgetary allocations to security during the same period, in addition to another $1 billion loan secured by the Jonathan administration to fight Boko Haram.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently ordered the arrest of Dasuki for awarding “fictitious contracts” in excess of N300 billion while he was NSA.
It is believed that the arms and ammunition were either not purchased at all or that substandard ones were procured instead, reportedly leading to the death of many Nigerian soldiers in the hands of the better-equipped Boko Haram insurgents.
There were various media reports, both local and foreign, quoting unnamed Nigerian soldiers complaining about inadequate arms as well as poor welfare in the counter-terrorism war.
Thousands of soldiers deserted the military and those who refused to fight were court-martialled and jailed or sentenced to death.
But Dasuki has denied any wrong doing, maintaining that there was no fraud involved in the procurement process and that the military succeeded in chasing the insurgents out of 22 local governments under his watch.
He also said all the contracts were awarded with the approval of Jonathan, but the former president swiftly denied giving such approvals.
TheCable can report, however, that Jonathan approved all the disbursements by NNPC, with his senior special assistant on administrative matters, Matt Aikhionbere, writing the covering letters conveying presidential consent to the corporation after the president had minuted on Dasuki’s requests.
Jonathan further approved that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should give Dasuki N40 billion following another extra-budgetary request.
This was after the removal of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the central bank governor in 2014.
Dasuki had written to the then acting governor, Sarah Alade, requesting for N60 billion, but she did not act on the request, reportedly because the president was not copied and there was no presidential approval.
Following the appointment of Godwin Emefiele as governor in June 2014, Dasuki re-presented his request but Emefiele too did not act on it because of procedural concerns.
However, Dasuki sent another request, this time copying Jonathan, who — TheCable understands — now sat the two men together and instructed that the bank should give N40 billion to Dasuki and another N20 billion to the Department of State Services (DSS), although there was no prior request from the department.
It is believed in security circles that the N20 billion went to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former president’s party, apparently to finance the 2015 electioneering.
There was a slight twist in the story after the 2015 general election when a senator got wind of the N60 billion expenditure and tried to blackmail Emefiele, demanding N5 billion in order to keep it away from public scrutiny.
Emefiele reportedly resisted the pressure from the senator, insisting that he acted based on a presidential order.
The senator is now a principal officer of the national assembly against the wishes of Buhari, who was made aware of the blackmail in May before he was sworn in as president.
TheCable could not confirm if Emefiele eventually paid anything to the senator.