Oritsejafor Vindicated on Dasukigate?
There has been no let to the noise that followed the seizure of $9.3 million in Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet in South Africa towards the twilight of President Jonathan’s regime. Tried as much as he did to explain what happened, very few people gave him a benefit of the doubt. Recent events, however, seem to be vindicating the embattled CAN president.
First was the gale of revelations from the erstwhile National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki rtd, detailing who got what and for what purpose. An infographic published by online journal, Naij.com, revealed that indeed about N750m was spent on “Special Prayers” and “Spiritual Purposes”, but the amount actually went to some companies, not churches.
Again, in a recent interview published by the Punch, The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, was quoted saying “so far, there is no case against the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.”
He was further quoted as saying “The plane was on charter, so he can very well claim that he had no idea what was being taken on board and he probably was not the one that came to that agreement. I am not saying that he knew nothing about it but he had a company and ideally, his employees would be the ones to make all the arrangements but, of course, in reality, given that he was close to the government in power, he must have known.
“But what they were doing in that transaction was irregular; it wasn’t stealing. They were going to use the money to buy arms. They were not supposed to do it in that manner. They were supposed to do it through normal bank transfers. So, what happened was irregular but I don’t think the money was stolen.”
Well, the investigation is still on. Given the out-turn of events, it was quite prescient of Pastor Adeboye when he warned, in the heat of the crisis, that “whoever has collected money should return it”. Whoever refused to heed that warning then may soon have his day with the EFCC.