Nigeria News
Falana faults FG’s threat to sanction S’African firms

A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has faulted the reported threat by the Federal Government to sanction South Africa and its companies over South African government’s repeated seizure of Nigeria’s money amounting to about $15m allegedly meant to buy arms.

The South African authorities had on two occasions recently seized large sums of money from Nigeria.

In the first instance the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa seized the cash sum of $9.3m brought to the country by two Nigerians and an Israeli in an aircraft said to be owned by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. The South African NPA also seized the sum of $5.7m, said to be the money brought to the country by Nigerian government’s agents negotiating arms purchase deal. The deal was said to have been burst by the South African National Conventional Arms Control.

Falana said the threat to deal with the South African companies operating in Nigeria as retaliation for the seizure of the money had called to question the moral integrity of the Federal Government.

He said, “By threatening to deal with the South African government over the breach of the law by the private businessmen and corporate bodies involved in the suspicious transactions, the office of the NSA has called to question the moral integrity of the Federal Government.

“By asking South Africa to reciprocate the gesture of allowing MTN and DSTV to operate in Nigeria, is the Federal Government saying that both South African companies are allowed to breach the law of the land?

“Regrettably, the National Assembly treated this matter of urgent national importance so cavalierly and in the process left many questions unanswered.

“Otherwise how could both chambers have failed to examine the statement of the NPA that the official explanations for the suspicious transactions are riddled with contradictions? Instead of grandstanding over the criminal enterprise the Federal Government should apologise to Nigerians and call the NSA to order for dragging the name of Nigeria through the mud.”

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