The Federal Government has accused former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki of making N1.2billion transactions in one day without explaining what the deals were about.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters in his Oro hometown in Kwara State that releasing Dasuki and Shi’ite leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky without extracting information from them would have negative impact on national security. He spoke after a Ramadan lecture he organised in the town.
Dasuki, he said, would remain in custody for security reasons, adding that the government has information at its disposal which could not be divulged because of national security.
Dasuki and El-Zakzaky have been in custody despite court orders granting them bail. Dasuki is on trial.
‘‘At every point in time, a government will make a hard decision between your personal liberty and national security. Now in the wake of 9/11, the United States (U.S.) came with regulation that breached the personal rights of Americans and all of us because of national security.
‘‘In the case of El- Zakzaky and Dasuki, we are also talking about national security.”
The minister said the former national security adviser had refused to account for ‘‘$1.2 billion dollars transactions he made in one day,” an action he said called for serious security concerns since such huge amount could be used to ‘‘destabilise the whole country’’.
‘‘This is an individual who made $1.2 billion transactions in one day and up till today, he has refused to tell government where the money went to and who he has given the money and people are saying we should release him,” the minister said.
The minister said since the government would take responsibility for its actions, it could not guarantee whether the former national security adviser would still stay in the country, if granted bail.
He also warned against beating drums of war adding that the consequences of war would be as debilitating on those promoting it. Those “beating the war drum, God forbid, if the war happens, they will not escape it,” he said.
Mohammed said hate speeches continued to gain currency in the media because “comments, personal opinions now taking the place of facts”, regretting that some Nigerians swallow what was being published on social media “hook, line and sinkers”.
He said: “The impunity with which people make very inflammatory speeches, the reckless statements people make without caring for the consequences – the advent of the social media, which is largely faceless and has so much power but absolutely has no control – has fueled the phenomenon.
“Before the advent of social media, there were rules of engagement. Before, journalists follow the ethics of the profession that facts are sacred, but comments are free.
“This government does not have an official policy to marginalise any part of the country. The records are there. I don’t think that hate speeches are being fueled by anybody being marginalised.”