The complex saga revolving CAN President Ayo Oritsejafor’s purported involvement in the South African arms deal scandal has taken a new twist with his connection to Niger-Delta militant warlord Asari-Dokubo under scrutiny.
On Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that Asari Dokubo was on board the plane belonging to Oritsejafor that illegally ferried US$9.3 million to South Africa for the purchase of weaponry.
“If these arms are meant to fight insurgency, as the government has claimed, what is Asari Dokubo’s business purchasing arms for the Nigerian military, if indeed they were for the military? Does it not occur to the Nigerian government that this man who once took arms against the state may not have jettisoned his sinister plan against the same state,” the statement read.
This was followed by an old picture reappearing on social media purporting to show Oritsejafor smiling with Asari Dokubo and Mohammed Yusuf, the late leader and instigator of Boko Haram. “Can anyone tell me what could ever be the relationship between a perceived man of God and two militants,” the picture was captioned.
Dokubo immediately and vehemently debunked the claim of his involvement. In several video messages posted to his Facebook page, Dokubo called for Lai Mohammed’s arrest, describing him as a disgrace to Islam and a ‘pathological and award-winning liar’.
“Presently, I am in Saudi Arabia performing my Hajj as the Amirul Hajj of Bayelsa State and this can be confirmed,” he emphatically stated in a telephone interview. “The evil they wish me will be visited on the home of Lai Mohamed forever,” he added.
Additionally, Comrade Rex Emojite Ekiugbo Anighoro, a close associate of Dokubo and spokesman of Niger Delta People Salvation Front (NDPSF) Worldwide, claimed on Facebook that he was actually the third party in the controversial picture, not Yusuf.
“It is also shambolic that a picture of I Comrade Rex Emojite Ekiugbo Anighoro, Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo Asari and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor taken during the Peace building Process in the Niger Delta in 2008 was lifted by agents of the All Progressive Congress,” he wrote.
He however acknowledged the closeness of Dokubo and Oritseajfor, stating that they had been compatriots for over a decade. “May we also state that Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo Asari who has been close to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for over a decade stands with Pastor Ayo and can boldly state that he cannot be involved in any way with shoddy deals nor anything that could tarnish the good image he has built over the years,” the Facebook post added.
Oritsejafor has been accused of ‘politicizing’ the Christian Association of Nigeria since the beginning of his tenure. Calls have come from several quarters for Oritsejafor to step down in the wake of the damning allegations, campaigners for such including former CAN President Cardinal Okogie and controversial cleric and presidential aspirant Chris Okotie.
PICTURE SOURCE: http://www.facebook.com/rex.anighoro
Godwin writes from Lagos, Nigeria