[Abuja]–In what was a scary twist to the stash of monies recently uncovered by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the 7th Floor of a four – bedroom apartment at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos, The National Intelligence Agency (NIA), through its director, Ambassador Ayodele Oke has come forward to claim its ownership.
The NIA, a government security agency tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations in Nigeria, says that the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 was meant for a “covert operation”.
THE WILL had earlier reported that a ranking government official with knowledge of the latest twist to the seizure confirmed that NIA Director General, Ambassador Ayodele Oke, has been in touch with EFCC’s boss, Ibrahim Magu, to express his displeasure over the raid at the apartment used as one of NIA’s safe houses in Lagos for its clandestine operations.
The official said Magu, whose confirmation as substantive chairman of the agency has been frustrated by the DSS and the Senate, has been under pressure to show President Muhammadu Buhari the billions of naira he told the president during a meeting that the EFCC had recovered under his leadership.
“I can authoritatively tell you that money belongs to the NIA. The DG has come forward to claim it and has informed my office of the development. He is furious with Magu for his agency’s recklessness and for compromising their operations,” says the official.
According to Sahara Reporters, EFCC sources said they were now aware that the Director General of the NIA claimed ownership to the huge amount of cash – most of it in US dollars – because the NIA was going to use it for “covert operations.” The EFCC sources said they would not immediately respond to the claim from the NIA since their investigations are still ongoing, adding that a court in Lagos had given them an order to confiscate the funds.
When the President was informed of the claims that the money belonged to the NIA, the source said Mr. Buhari was “alarmed at such claim saying that he did not expect any Nigerian government agency to keep government funds in a private house, no matter the nature of its operations.”
However, the DG of the NIA, Mr. Oke, reportedly met with President Buhari last night to state his side of the story. During the meeting, he presented documents to back up the claim that his agency owns the money in a project that had been certified, approved and funded by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Mr. Oke told the President that the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno was fully briefed about the project and its progress. The meeting ended with President Buhari asking Mr. Oke to reapply for fresh funding for the project while the EFCC deposits the funds at the Central Bank of Nigeria for now.
It should be noted that the immediate former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of Bauchi state Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, sacked NNPC MD, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue and the Honorable Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi have all been separately alleged to be the owners of the uncovered monies but all have since denied the allegations.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg