Monday was a busy period for Nigeria’s security operatives as they continue in their quest to help the country stay clean from corrupt practices. The the Department of State Services (DSS) withdrew its invitation to five officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the postponement of the presidential election.
They include, the National Commissioner in charge of Operations, Prof. Okey Ibeanu, Director of ICT, Chidi Nwafor, Director of Procurement, Ken Ukeagu, Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Wole Osaze Uzzi and Assistant Director, ICT, Bimbo Oladunjoye.
However, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu played down the issue and the DSS invitation withdrawn, there are still developing tensions in the commission.
According a source: “The DSS has been working on some clues on how INEC’s Smart Card Readers and sensitive materials got into the hands of some suspects in some states.
“The officers were only invited to shed light on the operational modalities of INEC and why the sabotage occurred. We called on them as part of the comprehensive investigation into some allegations raised by the INEC chairman last Saturday.
“Following a twist in the DSS investigation, the invitation was stepped down. I won’t tell you it was dropped because some INEC officers have been implicated in some deals.”
But a source within INEC said: “The five officers were officially communicated through the DSS office at the close of work on Monday. Early on Tuesday morning, a reminder was sent to all the invitees.
“The invitation generated tension in INEC because those summoned hail mostly from the Southeast, Southsouth and Southwest. Some of them have nothing to do with logistics. We did not know why the DSS left out the director of Logistics and the deputy from the North.
“Some staff also saw it as an attempt to intimidate INEC and its officers. The ethnic tension made the INEC management to wield influence to prevail on the DSS to have a rethink on the invitation because it can disrupt plans for Saturday elections.
“It was based on the grave security implications that the invitation of the five top officers was stepped down.”
Meanwhile, Uyi Giwa-Osagie a businessman who is said to be an associate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has been detained following allegation of money laundering of about N1.5billion ($4million).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) believes the money was laundered for the purpose of the presidential elections and the arrest was made possible following an intelligence report on a suspicious transaction by a Bureau De Change operator.
The Nation had exclusively reported on Monday how the PDP reportedly allocated $3million each for “logistics” to its 36 state branches and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Most Bureau De Change operators and banks have, however, refused the “pressure” to convert the hard currency to Naira.
An EFCC source said: “A BDC operator was intercepted for shipping $2million from Abuja to Lagos for suspected money laundering.
“Upon interception by our detectives, the BDC operator admitted that Uyi Giwa-Osagie actually paid the Naira equivalent of $4million into his account in exchange for hard currency.
“We invited Uyi for interrogation on Monday and Tuesday. Our detectives have also conducted a search of his home. Some useful documents were retrieved. Investigation is, however, still in progress.”
“Apart from documents relating to posh properties at home and abroad, a copy of the EFCC Investigation Report on Atiku’s relationship with a jailed U.S. lawmaker, Williams Jefferson, was retrieved from Uyi.
“ An analysis of the account indicated that it yielded over $30million deposits mostly from a firm with a link with the PDP candidate,” the source said, pleading not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter.
He added: “Obviously, there were remittances from the account of a multi-national company linked with the PDP candidate.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “We closed in on Uyi on Monday. We have decided to detain him pending the conclusion of investigation.”
Another source described Uyi as “a reputable lawyer to Atiku”. “It is not out of place if Atiku’s dossiers are found with him.
“ You also need to appreciate his background and antecedents, he is from a very wealthy heritage. By the time he opens up, the EFCC will know that he is not an overnight associate of Atiku.”
Is president Muhammadu Buhari using the DSS and EFCC against Atiku or is the timing of the cases a coincident?
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