A close friend of President Muhammadu Buhari and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Brig.Gen. Jafaru Isa (retd.), has returned N170m to the Federal Government, The PUNCH has learnt.
Isa, who is a former military governor of Kaduna State, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in January for allegedly receiving N170m from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
He was, however, released by the EFCC after returning N100m to the commission with a promise to pay the balance of N70m.
A reliable source at the EFCC stated, “I can confirm to you that Jafaru Isa has returned the balance of N70m to the Federal Government’s purse. This brings the total amount of money he has returned to N170m.”
The retired general, who was a member of Buhari’s 19-man transition committee, was arrested around the same time the then National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, was detained for allegedly receiving N400m from Dasuki.
However, while Jafaru was released after five days in detention, Metuh spent about three weeks in the custody of the commission, causing the PDP to accuse the anti-graft agency of being partial.
In his reaction to the PDP’s accusation, the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had said, “From the records, Metuh got over N400m. He has not said anything because we need the public money to be returned so that it’s going to be used for public good.
“Also Jafaru Isa, what Dasuki gave him was N170m. He also agreed that he collected that money. He was with us for four to five days and then he made a deposit of N100m and signed an undertaking to bring the rest. That does not mean we will not prosecute him.”
It, however, remained unclear if the EFCC will still prosecute Isa, who is believed to have health challenges.
The former military governor launched a failed bid to become the governor of Bauchi State in 2011 on the platform of the Congress for Progressives Change, the party on whose platform Buhari equally made his third attempt to rule the country as a civilian governor.
Buhari lost the 2011 election to the then incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, but defeated Jonathan in the presidential poll of the 2015 general elections.