Ex-militant and leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, hinted at what appeared a spectre of violence Wednesday, with a threat of lawsuit or “self-help” against Lai Mohammed, the spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for claiming he helped transport $9.3 million cash for arms purchase in South Africa.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES exclusively Wednesday, Mr. Asari said he will adopt a civilised response to Mr. Mohammed by first suing the APC spokesperson for his remarks.
He however warned that should the courts fail to deliver justice, he will resort to self-help by using his hands and any other means to deal with Mr. Mohammed.
“After all the South Africa People have given the names of people on the plane and if by next week we go to court and the court is being manipulated not to give me justice, I will resort to self-help,” he said.
“I have the capacity to resort to self-help. I will not give anybody any apology because if a man has mouth to malign me then I can use what I have to fight for myself.”
Asked to clarify on the nature of self-help, the NDPVF leader said, “When the time comes you will know. The man doesn’t have the right to malign me. If a man has the right to use his mouth and hand to malign me and libel people, and any other man has the right to use his hand and any other means to get justice.”
Mr. Asari’s threat followed unsubstantiated claim by the APC listing him as one of two Nigerians who travelled alongside an Israeli, with $9.3m cash, for arms purchase in South Africa.
The South African government confiscated the huge sum as “proceeds of illegal transaction”, saying it was not declared at the airport.
Authorities there, like the Nigerian government, have refused to release the names of the two Nigerians who took part in the failed deal.
In an earlier press release, the APC spokesperson, Mr. Mohammed, quoting reports by some blogs, alleged that Mr. Asari was one of the unidentified Nigerians on the private jet that ferried the cash to South Africa.
Mr. Asari denies being part of the trip.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the former militant leader said he had not been to South Africa since 2002, and challenged journalists to confirm with that country’s embassy in Nigerian if he was granted visa to travel.
He said he was being targeted because of his support for President Goodluck Jonathan to secure a second term in office.
“So the onus of proof is on him. I will fight him with any means available to me. He manufactured a lie against me, and he orchestrated it,” he said. “If they want to win an election they should go and face Goodluck and win election not to pull down GEJ supporters.”
The NDPVF leader said his traducers failed last year to silence him after they alleged that he was a sponsor of the Boko Haram sect.
He claimed his critics went to Cotonou, the Benin Republic capital, and sent reports to INTERPOL alleging that he was a leader and sponsor of the sect.
“They failed last year in November. I went to the SSS on my own. The next one (they said) I’m in South Africa for arms and for money laundering which are international crimes. After that they brought Rex (his younger brother) picture and immediately they transformed Rex to Mohammed Yusuf with Ayo Oritsejafor and that we are there together,” he said.
“How long will they continue to malign me? Whatever means I have to reclaim my name and stop them from disturbing me. Anything that will redeem my name, I will do it.”