The $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 (valued over N13billion) recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos was a secret fund allocation released to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for major but secret security projects.
According to reports, the fund was approved by Former President Goodluck Jonathan following an alert by NIA former Director General, Olaniyi Oladeji, who alerted him of the need for some “crucial and covert security projects”.
The money was released by the Central Bank of Nigeria in cash to ensure complete secrecy of the spending.
“The projects are scattered across the country, but there is a major one in Lagos being funded with the cash warehoused in the Ikoyi building,” (As seen on Premium Times).
“The spending on the projects cannot be subjected to the usual expenditure process, and that is why the funds are held in cash. If you like, you can call it illegal projects in the national interest.”
An official of the NIA said that when the current Director General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, was alerted that EFCC operatives had stormed the Ikoyi apartment, being discreetly guarded by secret operatives, Oke immediately rushed to Abuja Head Quarter of the anti-graft to see the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, and advised him to withdraw his men because the funds belonged to the government.
It was however a little too late because police officers, soldiers, photographers and videographers, had already broken into the apartment.
The EFCC Chairman however allegedly ignored the NIA DG’s request and ordered his men to proceed with operation.
Consequently, Mr. Oke rushed to the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to complain about the whole issue.
Presidency sources told PT that Oke in company of the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, met with President Muhammadu Buhari to table the same issue.
Malami said that the meeting was coincidental and was not planned between him and Oke.
“It was nothing planned,” Mr. Malami said.
“I had a lot to do at the villa, and coincidentally he (Mr. Oke) too was there. I initially did not know why he was there until much later.”
According to reports, Buhari instructed the EFCC Chairman to deposit the funds with the CBN immediately and forward details of the operation to him.
The NIA DG was also instructed to properly document his complaints against Magu and reapply for the seized funds.
Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, said that “It’s a security issue, and not strictly a presidency issue.”
Confirming this, the NIA DG also told PT that the money seized by the anti-graft belonged to his agency but declined to comment on what the money was meant for.
“You don’t expect me to tell you that,” Oke said.
The huge funds was recovered on Wednesday from an apartment located at Osborne Street, Ikoyi, Lagos State, following a tip from a whistle-blower.
The money was after few hours the next day which was on Thursday ordered to be temporary forfeited to the government by Justice Muslim Hassan.
The judge adjourned the case to May 5 for anyone wishing to claim the money to show up before it be permanently forfeited to the government.