A non-governmental association, the Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI) yesterday called for proper investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the $9.3 million allegedly smuggled by two Nigerians and an Israeli citizen into South-Africa in a private aircraft. Also yesterday, a former presidential candidate and National Chairman of National Action Council (NAC), Dr. Olapade Agoro, called on the Federal Government to lay bare the circumstances surrounding the seized aircraft, the money and the men involved in the saga.
Speaking with journalists at the 2014 Annual General Convention and CACOL Integrity Award organised in Lagos by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), where he was honoured with ‘Icon of Integrity Award,’ Agoro said it was shameful to carry corruption beyond the shores of Nigeria to South-Africa. He said: “I see the issue as carrying corruption beyond Nigeria to South- Africa.
The circumstances surrounding the $9.3 million must be probed. Who owns that aircraft? Where did they buy the dollars and at what rate? Who authorised it? Was that aircraft meant for that? Why did they carry corruption beyond the shores of Nigeria to South Africa to humiliate us before a nation we salvaged from the horror of apartheid. “I thought the aircraft was a private jet, not for leasing, so we want to be told who leased it.
We want to see the papers that were signed. We want to know the source of the $9.3 million before flying it all the way from Nigeria to South-Africa. It is a shame on a nation.” ASRADI in a statement made available to New Telegraph by its Executive Director, Adeolu Oyinlola, also demanded a public inquiry on the incident, warning that anything short of a transparent public inquiry would not be acceptable to Nigerians.
“We in ASRADI demand a full scale public inquiry into how a government department or agency would carry loads of cash in a private jet overseas, ostensibly to transact official business. “While we do not intend to set an agenda for the proposed inquiry, ASRADI believes the following posers would assist in unraveling how the surreptitious trip to South Africa was hatched and embarked upon.
“How often does money get spirited out of Nigeria in this clandestine manner? How was the cash sourced? Was the money appropriated by the National Assembly? If, as we are assuming, the cash came from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), how regularly does this happen? Does government just ask CBN to throw its vault open at it’s (government’s) pleasure? “Oyinlola raised more questions, what is the total value of the contract in question? Was there any advance payment? If so, how was it made, in cash too? Were bids invited for this contract as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act? Is government aware of platforms like Telegraphic Transfer and Letter of Credit?