The inability of Sagir Koli, the army Captain who leaked the Ekiti-rigging audiotape, to come forward and authenticate the tape, is the reason investigation into the matter cannot proceed, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
Mr. Jonathan told Thisday newspaper that he inquired from the head of the Department of State Security, DSS, if the agency was investigating the matter, but was told that investigation could not proceed because Mr. Koli, who went underground after he was tipped off about the order from the army hierarchy to arrest him, has not come forward to validate the audio recording.
After Mr. Koli escaped, his 15-year-old brother, Ahmadu Koli, a pupil of Army Children School, who was staying with him, was arrested, tortured at a military facility in Ibadan Oyo, and detained for about five months.
“In fact, when this story came up, I asked the DG Department of State Security Service if they had investigated the matter, and he told me that they had some investigations, and then called for the person who claimed he recorded it and that he disappeared and nobody can reach him,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“There was no formal petition before them, but because of the general interest, they wanted to have him interviewed to know where this was coming from. If someone comes up with a spurious allegation that has no substance and the person disappears, of course, what do you want me to do? Definitely, anytime we get him, he’ll have to substantiate his allegations. There is a lot of false stories being circulated and it is very sad,” he added.
The President did not explain why Mr. Koli needed to validate the recording before investigations could be launched into the scandal.
He also did not say whether security agencies must always wait for petitions before investigating weighty issues such as the Ekiti rigging scandal.
Mr. Jonathan admitted that he has not even listened to the tape. He however tried to save face by saying he originally dismissed it as a fabrication, despite admissions from key actors the meeting actually held, because the person who recorded it did so to achieve a particular purpose and could have manipulated the discussion.
“I have not watched the video (it is an audio recording, not video). I said that it was a fabrication because, you see, people now, especially with the social media; we could be here and discuss issues and somebody will hack some of our voices and create a story that never happened,” he said.
“Therefore I am not saying that a meeting in question was held or not held, but the issue of conspiring to rig, I said it was a fabrication,” he said.