Africa

Nigeria's Sambo Dasuki charged over '$68m fraud'

Former Nigeria's national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sambo Dasuki was a key figure in Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram

Nigeria's ex-national security adviser has appeared in court, charged over an alleged $68m fraud.

Sambo Dasuki was charged on 19 counts of fraud, money laundering and criminal breach of trust at the high court in the capital Abuja.

He pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Mr Dasuki is accused of illegally transferring $50m from the national security budget to fund election campaigns for members of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan's party.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his arrest two weeks ago, after a government investigation alleged that $2bn (£1.3bn) meant to buy arms to fight Boko Haram had gone missing.

He is the most senior official to be arrested as a result of an investigation into arms procurement during the administration of Mr Jonathan, defeated by Mr Buhari in the March 2015 elections.

A government investigation found that Sambo Dasuki had awarded "ghost contracts" to buy 12 helicopters and four fighter jets which never materialised. He also denies those allegations.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed thousands in north-eastern Nigeria in its six-year campaign to create an Islamic state.


Sambo Dasuki

  • From a royal family, he's the son of the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim community
  • A career soldier, rose to be a colonel in the army until his retirement
  • Reportedly one of the officers who arrested current President Muhammadu Buhari when he was overthrown as military head of state 30 years ago - something he denies
  • Became former President Goodluck Jonathan's national security adviser in 2012
  • Oversaw the fight against Boko Haram under his presidency
  • At the centre of a row over Nigeria's unorthodox arms procurement in 2014, when South Africa seized suitcases packed with millions of dollars of cash at an airport in Johannesburg
  • Charged for possessing illegal weapons in August 2015
  • Was put under house arrest despite a court order to allow him to travel abroad for cancer treatment

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