A former Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, has made another startling revelation on how he delivered $47m to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasaki, in 11 suitcases.
This disclosure was made yesterday before Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello.
The money, which was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it was revealed, was part of the estimated $2billion meant for arms purchase which was allegedly diverted by key government officials and politicians during the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency.
It was also discovered that N10billion was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fund gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections in some states.
Salisu disclosed that he suspected that the cash might have been given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He, however, said as a civil servant, he could not have been guilty of any offence because he was only carrying out instructions from the former NSA.
Meanwhile, Justice Bello ordered that Salisu be either arraigned in a competent court of law if there is any basis for so doing or be released on administrative bail on terms to be settled by the applicant.
The payment of the N10billion was authenticated by former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has said she transferred $322 million from the Abacha loot to Dasuki, following instruction from Dr. Jonathan.
Salisu opened up in a Statement of Witness/Accused he wrote under oath in the presence of investigators of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The statement was attached to the charges preferred against Salisu and filed in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in preparation for his arraignment by the EFCC today (Friday) before Justice H.Y. Baba and Justice P.O. Affen.
Salisu, who said he did not benefit from all the slush funds from the CBN, said: “I could remember on the 20/11/2014, I was directed by the NSA, M.S. Dasuki to go to the CBN and collect the sum of $47m in cash and the balance in Euro and the directive was obeyed and the monies were delivered to the NSA in about 11 suit cases.
“I acknowledged the receipt of the money from the CBN which was handed over to M.S. Dasuki.
“I think the monies were meant for PDP. After delivery, I left, I did not see or know when the money was distributed.
“I did not benefit even one cent. The request for the funds was tagged Special Services signed by the NSA, M.S. Dasuki, addressed to the Governor of CBN.
“I did not know the source of the money into our CBN Account. The foreign currencies that I collected from the CBN were delivered to the NSA in his house, No. 13, John Kadiya Street, Asokoro.”
In a November 26, 2014 memo to the Central Bank Governor(NSA /366/S), the former NSA instructed as follows: “Further to our discussion, you are pleased requested to provide the sum of $47m cash out of the N10 billion and the balance in Euro to this office for special services.
“Mr. S.A Salisu, Director of Finance and Administration, is hereby authorised to sign and collect the amount. Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem.
In another April 10, 2015 letter, BPSD/CRC/ GEN/FMF/01/36 by the Banking and Payment System Department, the CBN authenticated payment mandate of N10billion to the ONSA for preparation for gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.
The letter, signed by CBN Director, Banking and Payments System Department, reads: “In accordance with your letters, Ref. No. HMF/FMF/082.F15276.7 and F.15276 respectively on the above subject, we forward herewith the following mandate for authentication. Mandate Ref. FD/LP(9/4/2015)-N5,000,000,000 to National Security Adviser Account No. 0029172241019, CBN; another N5,000,000,000 to National Security Adviser Account No. 1014199287, Zenith Bank, K-City Plaza, WUSE II Abuja.
“Purpose of payment: “Being amount released to the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) from the Signatory Bonus Account in preparation for the forthcoming Gubernatorial / State Assembly elections as approved by AGF.
“The Honourable Minister may wish to authenticate this mandate to enable the CBN remit the fund.”
In a short note to approve the request Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala simply said: “Authenticated” and signed.
There were indications that the EFCC may invite Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala for further clarifications on the matter.