President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with some security chiefs over the $ 9.3m arms deal that was busted in South Africa. According to Presidency a source, Jonathan demanded “full briefing” on how South African security impounded the cash in the private jet.
South African police said yesterday that it investigating the cash haul – because the money was more than the amount travellers can bring into the country. The cash was found stashed in the luggage of the two Nigerians and the Israeli, Eyal Mesika.
The bags were searched “after customs detected irregularities in the luggage,” and they found money.
“Although various explanations about the money were given…these explanations were flawed and riddled with discrepancies,” said South Africa’s prosecution authority spokesman Nathi Mncube.
But in their meeting with Jonathan, security chiefs claimed that the arms deal is “legitimate”.
A highly-placed source told The Nation: “For more than five hours, the President met with some intelligence and security chiefs on the arms deal. The security chiefs took time to explain that urgent security issues warranted the direct purchase of the arms.
“The President opted for full briefing to avoid any backlash on his administration. It will also assist the government to come up with a clear position to the public. Now that the Presidency has the details, it is left to the government to clarify things. When the government speaks, you will get the details of what transpired on the $ 9.3million arms deal.”
Based on diplomatic understanding, the aircraft, a Challenger, and the crew have been released.
It would be recalled that the cash, packed in 90 blocks of $ 100,000 each, was discovered on September 5 in two black plastic suitcases, prosecutors said.
“The money was detained as it was undisclosed, undeclared and above the prescribed legal limit for bringing cash into the country,” said South African authorities.