The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, a northern Muslim organisation, has urged the Federal Government and relevant anti-graft agencies in the country to investigate and prosecute those involved in the smuggling of $9.3m to South Africa aboard a private jet. The organisation, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu-Abubakar, on Monday, said it was baffled about the ‘government’s full knowledge of it, despite its illegality and the attempt to intervene in such a scandalous matter.’ The organisation spurned government’s claim that the money was meant to procure arms and queried why the deal was purportedly handled by a third party.
JNI said: “Is government short of official agents which necessitates assigning non official ones? Why was any of the planes in the Presidential fleet of jets not used?
“With the current trend of cashless financial transaction why is such a huge amount carried in cash? Isn’t arms deals executed via third party?
“Where is the Ministry of Defense and the office of the National Security Adviser? Was due process followed through relevant government agencies? Are bilateral matters dealt with in that way?”
JNI urged the National Assembly to hold special discussion on the matter as a matter of urgent public importance and given that the matter bears on National Security.
“Our senators at the upper chamber and representatives members at the lower chamber must rise to the occasion for special discussion on the matter as urgent public interest revolves round it, as it relates to threat to national security.
“EFCC must wholly play its role in this direction by prosecuting those involved to adequately face the wrath of the law. It doesn’t matter whose ox is gored.
“All relevant government agencies must also discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour, showing the world that our country is serious.
“For its internal and external integrity, government must stay off dabbling into issues which the Nigerian Law had properly addressed. We have been saying that certain elements are now fond of breaking the law with impunity, feeling super and above the law.”
The organisation also said it was dismayed about the conducts of some leaders who allegedly boasted that they would call on their followers to defend them. The JNI said “the uncourteous speeches” by those leaders “leave much to be desired” and capable of overheating the polity.