The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order investigation into an alleged theft by some agents of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) assigned to Senate President Bukola Saraki.
It was reported that the DSS officials stole N310 million from funds a Bureau de Change operator was transporting to the Senate President.
Taking its cue from SaharaReporters’ December 6, 2015 report, the national chairman of the group, Olanrewaju Suraju, stated that effective investigation and prosecution of the matter will again send a strong message to criminals waiting on the fringes to perpetrate similar.
“SaharaReporters, an online newspaper, reported that agents of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) assigned to Senate President Bukola Saraki stole N310 million from funds a Bureau de Change operator was transporting to the Senate President. However, the Senate President dismissed claims of his ownership of the said sum of money stolen by the DSS officials.
“In a statement released by the spokesman of the Senate President, Yusuf Olaniyonu, he said the money did not belong to him and denied any connection with the Bureau de Change operator concerned. He however admitted that two of the suspects were men attached to the security team of the Senate President.
“The Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Wilson Inalegwo, also stated that investigations have revealed that the sum of money belonged to the Bureau de Change operator who has not been named and not the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.”
The coalition noted further, “the crux of the matter now is the clear case of money laundering on the part of the Bureau de Change and armed robbery by DSS officials. The Bureau de Change operator was in possession of over N310 million cash for the said business transaction, in gross contravention of established rules by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.
“CSNAC petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission via a letter dated 16th of December, 2015 demanding an investigation and appropriate actions against the Bureau de Change, DSS officials, and the bank where the withdrawal of such a huge amount of money was authorized in violation of the law on money laundering and laid down rules and procedures.
“Mr. President sir, more than 6 months after the petition and publicly reported case, we are still to hear from the commission. Interestingly, the arrest of 2 of the 5 officials of the DSS involved in robbery and recovery of N66.5m from them, as officially confirmed by the DSS office, was widely reported by the media.
“Also, the police, through an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Okon Okon of the Criminal Investigation Department at the Force headquarters, confirmed the conclusion of investigation into the robbery incidence to journalists. As at the time of this petition, none of the law enforcement agencies have taken the appropriate step of prosecuting the officers involved in the criminal act.
“CSNAC is therefore, by this petition, demanding that Your Excellency direct these agencies (EFCC, DSS and Police Force) to launch a full scale investigation into this crime by identifying and prosecuting operators of the Bureau de Change; investigating and sanctioning of the bank involved; suspension of the affected officers from service of DSS; and their prosecution for armed robbery by the Police Force. Your effective investigation and prosecution of this matter will again send a strong message to criminals waiting on the fringes to perpetrate similar crimes. Doing otherwise is an endorsement of criminality and promotion of impunity within the law enforcement agencies,” the petition reads.