SECURITY agencies have put some national leaders of the opposition All Progressives Congress on the watch list, a top government official said on Sunday.
The official, who asked not to be named, confided in selected journalists in Abuja that the APC leaders could be picked up by security agents in case any untoward incident occurred following the threats allegedly issued by the politicians over the impeachment of Adamawa State ex-governor, Murtala Nyako.
The source said the Federal Government would not hesitate to order the arrest of the unnamed opposition leaders “if they do not desist from the campaign of calumny they are currently embarking against President Goodluck Jonathan over Nyako’s ouster.”
Nyako was removed from office by the state legislators over allegations of gross misconduct.
The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had at a press conference on Wednesday last week accused Jonathan of being behind Nyako’s removal.
Also, a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, had on Friday reiterated Odigie-Oyegun’s claim, adding that Nyako attracted Jonathan’s wrath for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party and for writing a memo to governors in the northern states.
Nyako had, in the memo referred to by Tinubu, accused the President of carrying out genocide against the North in the government’s ongoing war against terror.
But the government source, who spoke to journalists on Sunday, said the security report available to the government showed “clearly” the underhand dealings of the APC leaders shortly before the governor was removed.
He claimed that intelligence reports revealed that two APC governors, one from the North and the other from the South, approached some members of the Adamawa State House Assembly with financial inducements to the tune of N250m each for them to scuttle the move to remove the governor.
He explained that out of the 25 state lawmakers, five were with Nyako while two travelled at the time the impeachment process scaled through.
The government official added that the APC governors (names withheld) succeeded in buying one lawmaker over, and that attempts were made to buy one or two more so that the number of lawmakers required for the governor to be removed would not be achieved.
The government official also said that when it became clear to the APC chiefs that they would not be able to buy the lawmakers over, they resorted to threats.
The source said, “It was the assurance that they got from the lawmaker that more members would be bought over that gave birth to the reports then that Nyako might resign.
“When it was clear to them that the money might not do the magic, they resorted to threats.
“They threatened some of the lawmakers that they would be killed if they did not collect the money and stop the impeachment process.
“What they don’t know is that all these are recorded. If they continue with these their unfounded allegations against the President, the security agencies would be directed to arrest them and confront them with overwhelming evidence.”
The source insisted that the President had no hand in Nyako’s removal, saying it was a pure legislative matter.
Under Nigeria’s constitution, state governors enjoy immunity from prosecution. This means that the governors who offered the bribe could be spared while security agents go after other party leaders who do not enjoy immunity.
The APC, in reaction on Sunday, dared the Presidency to carry out the threat.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was shameful that the Presidency had been reduced to using anonymous sources to make baseless allegations.
According to him, Nigerians are tired of being deceived by an administration “which has won laurels in corruption.”
Mohammed said, “Tell them to publish whatever evidence they have and tell them to go ahead and arrest them, why are they insulting the intelligence of Nigerians? This outburst is simply telling you how stupid they are.
“Multiply N250m by 20, how much is that? N250m in four places is N1bn; in 20 places is N5bn. Do they think everybody is as stupid as they are? Do they think that one governor could pull out five billion, either in Naira or Dollars, and the system will not detect it?
“Is this feasible? Why are they hiding and making unsubstantiated allegations? Why can’t they expose the governors and arrest them? What they are trying to do is to cover up their own corruption.
“Nigerians still want to know what happened to the missing $20bn oil money, Nigerians want to know how come 300,000 barrels of our crude oil go missing every day; Nigerians want to know what happened to the subsidy fraud scam, let them publish the details of the Malabu oil scandal.”
The APC spokesperson wondered why the Presidency had been unable to invite the leaders of the opposition party or the party’s governors, whom, it alleged, were involved in bribing legislators for questioning if indeed they had any evidence against them.
“We told them how much they offered our legislators in Edo State; we exposed how much they offered those in Nasarawa. They should stop annoying Nigerians.” Mohammed said.