A special advisor to Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan has been charged with corruption and given bail, the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said on Tuesday.
Waripamo-Owei Dudafa is facing 23 counts of “concealment and retention of proceeds of crime” worth more than 1.6 billion naira ($7.8 million, 6.8 million euros).
Dudafa, who was Jonathan’s former senior special assistant on domestic affairs, pleaded not guilty during a hearing at the federal high court in Lagos, the EFCC said in a statement.
A bank employee who allegedly helped Dudafa launder the money through four companies also denied the charges.
Both were given bail on condition of payment of sureties totalling 500 million naira and ordered to surrender their passports. The case was adjourned until July 4 and 5.
Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola, has previously been charged with syphoning $40 million of public funds meant to buy communications equipment for Nigerian special forces.
The former president’s national security advisor, Sambo Dasuki, is currently facing a slew of charges over allegedly bogus arms deals in which procurement cash was diverted for political purposes.
The money was allegedly paid into accounts of senior figures in Jonathan’s then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fund his re-election campaign in 2015.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in May accused Jonathan’s administration of stealing some $15 billion of public money through fraudulent arms deals.
Dasuki claims Jonathan as commander-in-chief signed off on the procurement deals, effectively making the former president an alibi.
But so far he has not apparently been questioned or interviewed.
Former PDP spokesman Olisah Metuh, who allegedly received a share of the cash, has also said he was only acting on Jonathan’s orders.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who beat Jonathan in the 2015 polls, has launched a wide-ranging campaign against corruption.[Source: Times Live]