NSA Knew About $43.4m, NIA Boss Oke Tells Panel

NSA Knew About $43.4m, NIA Boss Oke Tells Panel

The DG maintained his stand that he informed the NSA, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is a member of the committee, about the money.

Members of the Presidential Investigative Committee probing the recovery of $43.4million at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos sat yesterday for more than 11 hours.

They examined documents and interrogated some officials at the marathon session.

Grilled were the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ayo Oke, and some top officials of the agency.

One of the highlights of the session was when the suspended NIA DG told the panel that he wrote a memo to the National Security Adviser (NSA) on the custody of the $43.4million for covert operations.

A source said the DG maintained his stand that he informed the NSA, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is a member of the committee, about the money.

Oke was said to have told the committee about the covert operations and projects executed by the agency.

Responding to a question, the source, who pleaded not to be named, added: “Oke gave a spirited defense of his career and said there was no ill-motive behind the cash.”

“At the end of it all, Oke was heard saying ‘I did my best before the committee. I have left the rest to God.”

But there were indications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have deferred further action on the interrogation of some suspects for the Osinbajo Committee to conclude its assignment.

The committee, which began sitting at about 10am, had not called it a day as at 9.37pm.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “What the committee did was to sieve through heaps of documents submitted by the EFCC and the NIA on the $43.4million.

“Some of the documents include findings at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on some companies engaged by the intelligence agency.

“After analyzing these documents, the committee started interacting with some top officials of NIA.  Thereafter at about 5.40pm, the interaction with Oke then started.

“Oke took longer time because he brought the list of projects being executed, the designs, contract papers and mode of payment.”

A multinational company is said to be handling most NIA projects.

The committee decided to work round the clock to meet its two weeks deadline, the source said, adding: “The  members  actually started sitting at about 10am and the only time they had respite was each time the National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Monguno and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, went to observe Islamic prayers.

On why the EFCC has deferred the interrogation of some suspects, the source said: “Since a panel is in place, the EFCC has stayed action on the invitation  of some suspects to avoid duplication of efforts.

“The recommendation of the panel will determine the next step by the anti-graft commission.”

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