Ever since the issue was blown open, many Nigerians have been calling on former President Goodluck Jonathan to clear the air on his involvement in the $2.1 billion arms procurement deal involving former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Well, Dr. Jonathan has opened up on the issue in far-away Geneva, Switzerland, where he was honoured by the Circle of Diplomats on Wednesday.
At a press conference attendant by UN-accredited international correspondents and Swiss journalists, he was asked the clear the air on the issue and how he might have been involved in it.
He said: “I would have loved to speak extensively on this issue. When I read the newspapers, people say President Jonathan must comment because it is a controversial issue.
“In our country (Nigeria), there are laws: when issues are before a court of law, people who have one thing or the other to do with these issues are not expected to make comments because it is considered as prejudice.
“As a former president if I make comments, it will affect the witnesses, court processes and so on. So I will not make any comment until most of these things are settled. One thing I would want Nigerians to know is that the way we had issues in the country, I tried to build institutions, I strengthened the judiciary and that is why I would not want to do things not in line with standard judicial practice. I encouraged separation of powers.
“I strengthened the electoral body Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted the 2011 and 2015 elections. Both our local and international observers were quite happy with the outcome. Towards the 2015 election, the country was so tense, some thought Nigeria was going to disintegrate. The cleavages between the North and South; Christians and Muslims; was so sharp and we were also faced with terrorism. So to conduct elections peacefully across that kind of country takes a lot.I would not want to comment specifically on the $2.1billion arms deal because it is not proper. But at the appropriate time I will speak on it. Thank you for raising this issue.”