More reports have emerged about the financial transactions of the National Intelligence Agency following the unearthing of some ungodly monies at the Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) collected $289,202,382 in cash from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NIPMS) in February 2015 after the postponement of the general election, TheCable understands.
NIPMS is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which manages the investments of the national oil company.
It was also from NNPC’s accounts that the office of the national security adviser withdrew the bulk of the $2.1 billion it got for “Boko Haram operations” in the months leading to the 2015 elections.
TheCable understands that $289,202,382 was approved for NIA’s “covert operations” by President Goodluck Jonathan and subsequently withdrawn in cash on February 25, 2015 from NAPIMS account at CBN.
The entire NIA budget for 2015 was a little over N25 billion which was about $160 million at the time — further suggesting that the payment was extra-budgetary.
The Department of State Services (DSS) also got huge sums of cash in naira and dollars for “covert operations” in the run-up to the elections.
These revelations are coming in the light of the recovery of $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million in a flat in Ikoyi, Lagos state, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a tip-off from a whistle blower.
NIA said it was its money and that it was meant for “covert operations” — according to reports.
There is now strong suspicion that the Ikoyi haul might have been part of the $289,202,382 released to the agency two years ago. A presidency source had told TheCable that President Muhammadu Buhari was not briefed on the funds which were warehoused at a private apartment.
Although Oke reportedly said the apartment belongs to NIA, Sahara Reporters alleged that it belongs to Chobe Ventures — owned by Folashade Oke. The now suspended NIA DG has a wife named Folashade Oke, further fuelling speculation that it was a family affair.
But NIA is said to have claimed that the money was only “in transit” at the Ikoyi apartment for onward movement to the agency’s property elsewhere.
“The circumstances make everything suspicious,” the senior presidency official told a reporters. Buhari has set up a three-man panel to investigate both Oke and Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation, over various allegations.
Oke was appointed by Jonathan as the NIA DG in November 2013 and retained by Buhari, even though he replaced other security chiefs in August 2015.
Oke’s tenure is up in November 2017.