ABUJA—The Presidency said, last night, that it would not interfere in the arrest and probe of a close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, Jafaru Isah, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged involvement in the Dasukigate scandal.
Mr. Isa, Military Administrator of Kaduna State from December 1993 to August 1996, during the military regime of General Sani Abacha and one-time governorship candidate of the defunct CPC in Kano State, is the first chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to be arrested by the EFCC since the beginning of a sweeping probe into the alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase by officials of the immediate-past administration.
An aide of the President told Vanguard in confidence that although Jafaru Isah was a close political ally to President Buhari, the first citizen would nonetheless remain neutral in the matter, in line with his avowed position to deal decisively with corruption.
While describing Isah as a political ally, who had been with Buhari from the days of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, to the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, the aide made it clear that the long relationship did not in any way suggest that Buhari was associated with the alleged collection of N100 million from the Office of the National Adviser, ONSA, by the embattled politician.
The aid said: “It is true that Isah has been with Buhari from the days of the ANPP and CPC and was equally a member of the Transition Committee and actually headed the Defence Committee.
That does not mean that Buhari knows anything about the N100 million said to have been collected by the man from the ONSA.”
Jafaru is also described as a close friend of the embattled ex-NSA, Dasuki, who is facing multiple charges over alleged money laundering and breach of public trust in three courts.
It could not be established last night whether Jafaru was given the N100m by Dasuki for some contracts or because of his closeness to the former NSA or both.
Jafaru was arrested at his Abuja residence located on Ajayi Crowther Street, Asokoro by operatives of the anti-graft commission around 9pm on Wednesday when he failed to honour an invitation to clear the air on some payments traced to him from the ONSA.
Jafaru is said to have resorted to writing a letter to the commission asking for more time to attend to a family burial instead of reporting to the EFCC.
Rather than honouring the invitation, sources said he wrote a letter to the EFCC through his lawyer, seeking a postponement of his appearance date on the grounds of death of a relative.