Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Political novel or Nigerian reality?

This story does not bode well for President Jonathan's anti-corruption camgaign. It does seem to be as incredible as fiction.

It's complicated and Jonathan's party in Congress has blocked debate because it's a "national security" issue, so details are hard to find.

South African police photo
Let's see: two Nigerians (unidentified so far) and an Israeli citizen (also unidentified) fly to South Africa on a jet owned by the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria. South African customs discovers $9.3 million ($100 bills) packed into 3 suitcases. The money wasn't declared and it and the plane were seized by customs.

Nigerian officials quickly claim that the money belongs to the Nigerian government and was intended to purchase military hardware. The officials also quickly claim that having private citizens carry cash for such purposes is globally accepted standard operating procedure.

Just imagine a couple cousins of U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel carrying a trunk full of cash to Prague on a plane owned by Texas Pastor Joel Osteen claiming to be on a Defense Department mission to buy Czech CZ700 sniper rifles.

Standard operating procedure? Rule of law? Transparency? Corruption? Plot for a Tom Clancy novel?

Uproar in House of Reps Over Seized U.S.$9.3 Million
The atmosphere was tense in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, as All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmakers staged a walkout following a perceived attempt by Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, to kill a motion on the alleged smuggled $9.3 million cash into South Africa…

The protesting lawmakers staged a walkout from the chambers when the Deputy Speaker moved to stall debate on the controversial $9.3 million said to have been seized last week by the South African government.

A private jet, with two Nigerians on board together with an Israeli, reportedly conveyed the huge sum said to have been intended for procurement of arms and ammunition into South Africa…

FG Evasive on Seized U.S.$9.3 Million - JNI
The Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Monday described the explanation given on the $9.3 million seized in South African as unclear.

The money was smuggled into South Africa aboard a jet belonging to CAN President Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.

Government was said to have claimed that the money was meant to procure arms for the military…

A JNI statement… said: "What is more shocking is government's full knowledge of it despite its illegality and the attempt to intervene in such a scandalous matter which attracts the full weight of the law to address. There is more to the explanation given by the government on the matter. Government should tell Nigerians the real fact on the issue."

JNI said due process was not followed in the arms deal and there were a lot of unanswered questions on the part of government.

It said the money ought to have been transferred electronically and an official aircraft should have been used…

And perhaps the issue spills over into identity politics.

The Cash-for-Arm Scandal And Security Of Nigeria's Muslims
The cash-for-arms scandal in the airplane owned by the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet just like other issues before it.

Rev. Oritsejafor's jet
This is because the man whose plane is at the center of the questionable arms purchase is an avowed enemy of Nigeria’s Muslim…

He has openly asked the Nigeria government, headed by his spiritual son, GoodLuck Jonathan, to allow the Christian community to bear arms. It appears when the government was not audacious enough to openly acquiesce to that request, they decided to bear the arm through the back door.

Is this the other side of the Boko-Haram war? Is this the manifestation of [the] claim that Boko haram is being funded from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)?…

The search for the truth must start from within. Muslims head the Nigeria Security Agency and Defense Ministry in the person of Ibrahim Dasuki and Aliyu Gusau, respectively.

They must account to us how such a huge cash for arms was found in a private airplane belonging to a sworn-enemy of the Muslim…
Nigeria, South Africa At War Over Seized $9.3 Million Cash
Detectives in South Africa have rejected Nigerian government’s explanations of the purpose of the $9.3 million cash seized from two Nigerians and an Israeli as “flawed and riddled with discrepancies”...

Nigerian security officials also said that it was normal practice to procure arms with cash.

“The Federal Government has submitted relevant data and documents on the transaction to South Africa and insisted that the transaction was legitimate. It also clarified that the funds were not laundered or smuggled for any covert manoeuvres...

Investigators also cast serious doubt on the Nigerian government’s explanation that the money was meant for the procurement of arms and that it has provided documents and receipt to back its legitimacy, raising serious concern that suspects might have been in the process of laundering the money before it was intercepted.

The NPA said its investigation shows that Tier One Services Group, the firm Nigerian government claimed it wanted to procure the arms from, is not authorised to sell or rent military hardware...

The NPA added that the transaction did not follow normal procedure in the procurement of the kind of equipment it was alleged to have been meant for.

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At 9:11 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

South Africa Busts Another Secret Nigeria Arms Deal, Seizes U.S.$5.7 Million

South African authorities have confiscated yet another US$5.7 million arms money from Nigeria, nearly three weeks after seizing $9.3 million in cash transported by two Nigerians and an Israeli for arms purchase...

Two black plastic suitcases, filled with 90 blocks each containing US$100,000 in notes, with combination locks, were seized, as well as two pieces of hand luggage also containing US currency, according to City Press...

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

PDP, APC War Over Seized U.S.$5.7 Million

South Africa's seizure of another $5.7m for the purchase of arms by Nigeria has sparked off war of words between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. While the APC accused President Jonathan of embarrassing the country in global community, the PDP has declared that it is solidly behind the president…


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