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$9.3M arms scandal: CSOs want commission of inquiry

Rights activists and Civil Society Organisations (SCOs) under the auspices of the Say No Campaign (SNC) has demanded an immediate establishment of an independent judicial…

Rights activists and Civil Society Organisations (SCOs) under the auspices of the Say No Campaign (SNC) has demanded an immediate establishment of an independent judicial commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court Justice or the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN) to investigate the circumstances surrounding controversial $9.3m botched arms deal.

Two Nigerians and an Israeli on a chartered plane owned by the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria Pastor Ayo Oristejafor were found with $9.3 million cash on Sept 5 by South African authorities. The money was confiscated by the South African government and has been a hot debate in the public space.
Chairman of the Partners for Electoral Reform (PER) Ezenwa Nwagwu, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, former National Convener of the United Action for Democracy (UAD) Jaye Gaskia and the Head of Research, Policy and Advocacy of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Samson Itodo co-conveners of the SNC at a joint briefing in Abuja on Friday also protested the arrest and detention of African Independent Television (AIT) reporter Amaechi Anakwe on the order of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 7 Joseph Mbu.


“We condemn the unlawful detention of AIT Journalist Amaechi Anakwe on the orders of the AIG Joseph Mbu. It is an abuse of power on the part of security agencies whose sole responsibility is to protect its citizens. It was because people like Mbu who became apolitical especially in Rivers were not punished, but who see his recent promotion as a reward for his impunity, was one of the reasons why Nigeria is still in its sorry state after 54 years of independent,” the SNC said.

Daily Trust however learnt that Mr. Anakwe who was detained by the Police on Thursday had been released on Friday.

While insisting that the controversial $9.3 m was money laundering, the group said nothing is adding up in the scramble to defend and explain ‘this bizarre act of officially condoned money laundering’.

They said the investigation should be conducted openly and those indicted punished accordingly as Nigerian cannot afford to swept the scandal under the carpet.

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