Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the arrest of a key member of the arms probe panel following damning allegations implicating him in money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, Premium Times reports.
Despite the suspect being his close ally, Buhari ordered Mohammed Umar to be detained after allegations surfaced that the retired Air Force official was involved in the running of a blackmailing and extortion cartel.
After being apprehended by operatives from the State Security Service last week, reports revealed that the Buhari loyalist had been using the President's name to intimidate and extract money from scared individuals, The Herald reports.
In addition to his arrest, Umar's property was seized along with classified documents from the Office of the President and transaction details from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Umar is alleged to have become a close ally of Buhari's following his election into office in 2015.
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The suspect is alleged to have had access to information on security contracts during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, making him a key component of the investigate panel probing the arms deal.
Following concerns over his conduct, it later emerged that Umar had previously been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over claims that he had been involved in salary and procurement fraud.
Despite being ordered to refund looted money to the state, the matter was later dismissed.
Recent court documents have indicated that Umar conducted all his latest transactions in cash, thereby eliminating the paper trail that would follow bank transactions.
In addition to Umar's home being seized, 13 luxury cars - including a Range Rover, two Rolls Royce models, two Bentleys, a Porsche, Mercedes. Lexus, Audi and Porsche Panamera - have now also been seized.
The Presidency has refused to provide commentary on the matter at this time.
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