The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed charges at the Federal Capital Territory High Court against Stallion Motors Limited and its Managing Director, Hapreet Singh, for allegedly offering a gratification of N1.275 billion to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2015 polls.
A former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and ex-Minister of Finance Mr. Bashir Yuguda allegedly collected the money for the party.
The two suspects will face a four-count charge bordering on alleged bribery and gratification.
The bribe cash was, however, suspected to be “assistance” to PDP for 2015 general election.
The EFCC also suspected that the payment was an inducement to facilitate payment by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) for a contract for the supply of some 700 trucks and 50 buses.
But the PDP, in a letter to EFCC, denied receiving such a gratification from Stallion Motors.
The development has made the anti-graft agency to probe the whereabouts of the cash.
According to investigation by the anti-graft agency, the bribe sum was routed through a Bureau De Change, Jabbama Ada Global Ventures Limited.
The owner of the said BDC, SalisuGarus, admitted on oath that he received the cash on behalf of Yuguda.
He said based on Yuguda’s instruction, he handed over the dollar equivalent of the cash to the ex-Minister’s son, Safinu.
A top source said: “We have filed charges against Stallion and its MDHapreet Singh in the High Court of Federal Capital Territory.
“Stallion between December 2014 and February 2015 paid the sum of N1.275billion to Dasuki ostensibly to assist in the 2015 general election campaign of the People’s Democratic Party.
“The MD of Stallion (Singh) allegedly claimed that the PDP, through Yuguda and Dasuki, demanded for donation to assist the party prosecute its campaign in the 2015 general election.
“The fund was paid to Jabbama Ada Global Ventures Limited, a Bureau de Change (BDC). Salisu Garus, who is the owner of the BDC, claimed he received the funds on behalf of Bashir Yuguda, a former Minister of State for Finance, at whose instruction the money was changed into dollars and handed over to his son, Safinu Bashir Yuguda.
“When the former minister was invited for questioning, he admitted receiving the money from his son but, added that he “handed the entire sum to Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).”
“The former NSA, the source disclosed, claimed that a former minister directed him to contact the owners of Stallion Motors because they had promised to make contributions to the election campaign of the PDP.
He consequently mandated Yuguda to collect the money.”
But the EFCC said it was suspecting that the payment was an inducement to facilitate payment for the supply of some 700 trucks and buses.
The contract was awarded by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The source added: “Detectives suspected that the bribe was allegedly paid by the auto marketing firm to induce payment of a contract by the Office of National Security Adviser under Mr. Sambo Dasuki for the supply of 700 Stallion carrier trucks and 50 buses.”
Though the value of the contract is not stated, military sources disclosed that the vehicles were not on the priority list of the Federal Government’s need at the time.
But only 50 of the vehicles were allegedly supplied by the company and while payment was still ‘hanging’, the company donated the N1.275billion to the PDP.
“This suspicion was more or less confirmed as the PDP, in a January 26, 2018 letter to the EFCC and signed by Prince Tunji Adeyemo, its Acting National Director of Finance, denied having any relationship with Stallion Nigeria Limited.
“The party had at no time requested and or solicited for any fund as donation towards the 2014/2015 general electioneering campaign or for any other purpose whatsoever from Stallion Nigeria Limited,”Adeyemo said.
A source in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan gave insights into how the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) came about the contract.
The source said: “Stallion is a Nigerian company and it was among those local firms into vehicles manufacturing in the country.
“The auto policy of the government was to patronise the local companies like the case with the patronage of Innoson Motors.
“The contract was never consummated and that was at the peak of Boko Haram attacks when the government needed all the facilities and military vehicles to prosecute the war.
“Don’t forget that they bought Volkswagen and there was a problem with it. But members of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) solved it.”