Cash-for-arms deals: Kwankwanso tears Jonathan apart


Governor Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso of Kano State yesterday descended heavily on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing it of being economical with the truth over the circumstances surrounding the seized $9.3m and another $5.7m by the South African government recently.

Kwakwanso believed that the seized money by the South African government, which the Nigerian government claimed was meant for procuring arms and ammunition to fight Boko Haram, contravened the due process.

Kwakwanso spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday after the public presentation of two laws-Ekiti Magistrate Court Law 2014 and Administration of Criminal Justice 2014-by his counterpart from Lagos, Raji Fashola (SAN).

The governor said, “As a former Minister of Defence, I am very conversant with the way and manner, and the due process that is required to procure any arms, ammunition or equipment, there are rules and guidelines. Arms and ammunition are not rice and beans that you can just go to the market and purchase.

“Many of us were concerned when the information filtered in. In fact, we didn’t believe it initially, but along the line, based on the defence of what happened, we realized that it was a bitter truth that such a thing happened: that money of that magnitude in an aircraft flown to another nation, I think so many things have gone wrong. I think it is high time for the Federal Government to sit up to its responsibilities to ensure that things are being done correctly.

“Yes, we need arms and ammunition; yes, we need security in this country, but even under that circumstance, there are rules and guidelines that must be respected.

“While we are trying to tackle insurgency, we must follow the due process. Even in the operation there are rules of engagement; they are very important to protect the lives and properties of innocent people.”

The governor wondered why it took the Federal Government three weeks to accept that over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok.

“That is why we are confident that by 2015, the APC will take over because all that we have seen in insecurity, unemployment, education. There are so many schools closed down in the North. Our children cannot go to school because some are being stolen,” he lamented.

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