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The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence has said that another $202m belonging to the National Intelligence Agency is unaccounted for and must be recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The committee, which is chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Zamfara State, Mr. Aminu Sani-Jaji, had investigated the $43m which the EFCC recovered from a building at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, in 2017.
The money, later identified to belong to the NIA, is now in the custody of the Federal Government on court orders, while the EFCC continues with the prosecution of the case.
But, the House committee stated that its investigations showed that another $202m was uncounted for or ‘missing.’
The committee’s report, indicated that the NIA collected a total of $289m as intervention funds during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The agency’s suspended Director General, Mr. Ayo Oke, was in charge at the time the money was paid to the NIA.
Out of the money, the panel stated that $43m was recovered by the EFCC, while $44m was transferred by the agency to another location for safe-keeping.
However, it stated that the balance of $202m could not be traced, as all the actors could not provide useful answers to the committee.
The committee recommended that the EFCC should investigate the matter further, ensure the recovery of the money and prosecute the offenders.
It added that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, should be sanctioned for refusing to cooperate with the committee during the investigation.
The report said partly, “That the whereabouts of the remaining $202m should be further investigated. That the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor should be sanctioned and reprimanded for refusing to appear before the committee in clear contravention of Section 89 (1) (a) (b) and (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
On the $43m, the committee recommended that the EFCC should pursue the matter to a logical conclusion by prosecuting the suspects.
It also called for the permanent forfeiture of the money and the Osborne apartment to the Federal Government.
The report noted further, “That the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that spearheaded the discovery and recovery of the money in question should follow due judicial process to ensure the forfeiture of the money and the apartment to the Federal Government; and ensure diligent prosecution of all the suspects involved in the saga.
“That all intervention funds given in the last administration (under Jonathan) to the intelligence agencies should be further investigated; and that the Director of Accounts and Finance, Abubakar Deridisu, who by the findings of this committee is evidently not culpable, is recommended to be reinstated.”
The House has yet to deliberate on the report, which was submitted by Sani-Jaji on April 26.
By the procedure of the House, the report will be listed for consideration by lawmakers in the Committee of the Whole, who will either approve the recommendations or discard them.
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