The House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence has raised an alarm that $202 million which was released to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA as an intervention fund in the twilight of the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led administratioN is yet to be accounted for.
The Chairman of the committee, Aminu Sani Jaji, who briefed reporters after members of his panel held a closed-door session with both the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd) and the newly appointed Director General of the NIA, Ahmed Abubakar, said contrary to a widely held notion, the $44 million found in the NIA’s vault was not missing.
Jaji, who maintained that the entire $289 million released to the NIA was not appropriated by the National Assembly, said investigations revealed that the funds must have been safely kept in an undisclosed location, pending the resolution of the issues surrounding the agency.“This $44 million is part of the $289 million approved to the then DG, Ayodele Oke. In April last year, there was the issue of $43 million found in Ikoyi. He tried to say that the $44 million and the $43 million were part of the $289 million.
“But for us, we are still working to see where the remaining $202 million was placed. We only know about the $43 million recovered in Ikoyi and the $44 million recovered from their vault. In the course of our investigation, we’ll come up with where the $289 million really is, not only the $43 million and not the $44 million.
“NIA got the money in the name of intervention. But since they said it was an intervention, maybe for whatever reason, Oke failed to disclose the amount to the present administration. Even the NSA was saying it was when this committee started working that he got to know that NIA was given $289 million.
“For me, $202 million is still missing. The money in question is $289m, and all what the former DG is trying to say is that the $43 million and the $44 million are part of the $289 million. If you subtract $43 million and $44 million, where is the balance? That’s why we have to intensify the investigation,” Jaji said.
On the committee’s findings on the eligibility of Abubakar to become the DG of the agency, Jaji said his appointment was in line with due process. “We tried to find out from the DG and some staff working in the agency, and there was no protest. For me, it’s just something anonymous.
“The circumstances surrounding his appointment were discussed. Some are saying he has dual citizenship, but he said to us categorically that his father was from Katsina and he (his father) after sometime decided to migrate from Katsina to Chad. His mother is a Nigerian, and his wife too is a Nigerian,” the lawmaker said.