Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Saminu Turaki, who is currently being held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has given details of how he released money to fund the tenure elongation project of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The ex-governor, whose aides had said that the N30 billion he was alleged to have misappropriated was used to finance the third term project, said in a statement to the EFCC that the money was handed over in the presence of sacked governor of Anambra State, Mr. Andy Uba, who was then working as a presidential aide.
In a press statement Monday night, however, the EFCC said no governor gave any money for the failed tenure elongation project.
A credible source told Daily Sun that Turaki, in his statement of defence at EFCC, said the former president was not only interested in continuing in office beyond May 29, 2007, but also got him to finance the plot.
In the statement to the EFCC, dated July 11, 2007, the former governor stated how he gave the sum of N10.4 billion as one of his interventions in the third term plot.
The statement, which was in Turaki’s handwriting, said the money was disbursed for what he described as "Security Use." He also wrote that the money was changed from dollars to naira and released in the presence of Andy Uba.
He also made clear reference to other financial commitments, especially relating to proceeds from oil deals, in excess of 50 million dollars, which was used to support the project.
It was not clear why the former governor decided to provide such awesome details, but the source said that it may not be far from the fact that he feels betrayed by some people, including Obasanjo, who was a beneficiary of the same resources he allegedly mismanaged.
Turaki’s aides had told Daily Sun at the weekend that the former governor was a mere victim of some vested political interests as the amount in question was invested in the failed tenure extension bid at the instance of Obasanjo.