The House of Representatives has debunked reports that $44 million belonging to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was missing noting that the fund was rather moved from one place to another.
Chairman of the House committee on public safety and national intelligence investigating the issue, Hon Aminu Sani Jaji, confirmed this while speaking to journalists at the weekend.
Jaji who was giving update on the investigation said, “We had a meeting too with the NSA (Maj. Gen. Monguno) today. We later discovered from our meeting since last week that the $44 million isn’t missing. I can tell you that they moved the money from one place to another. We’re still investigating.
“If we get 60 to 70 per cent of what we’re supposed to get then we can tell you. But for now, I’ll tell you categorically that the money isn’t missing. They only moved it from the agency to another place pending when all these issues surrounding the agency are resolved.
“If you remember, this $44 million is part of the $289 million approved to the then DG, Ayo Oke. You know that 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 are part of the $289 million. But for us, we’re 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”.
The lawmaker also confirmed that the whereabouts of the balance of $202 million of the Ikoyi money remains unknown.
He said, “The money in question is $289m, and all what the former DG is trying to say is that the $43m and the $44m are part of the $289m. If you subtract $43m and $44m, where’s the balance? That’s why we’re where we are today, and that’s also why we have to intensify the investigation.
“You know already there’s an investigation going on before the committee. We started the investigation last week. In the course of the investigation, we invited the immediate past acting DG of NIA (Ambassador Mohammed Dauda). After that, we resolved to invite the present DG, NIA (Ambassador Abubakar Rufai Ibrahim)”.
On the controversy surrounding the appointment of the new NIA DG, the chairman noted that there was no petition from some directors but acknowledged stories about the agency’s boss on social media.
He said, “Having interacted with him, we found out that already there are allegations against him in the social media about his person and what have you. The issue of saying there are some directors in the agency that are protesting the appointment as the chairman, we didn’t receive any information to that effect.
“We tried to find out from the DG and some staff working in the agency, and there’s no protest. For me, it’s just hearsay, so there’s none”, he stated.
On the controversy surrounding the NIA DG’s citizenship, the chairman said, “Yes, the circumstances surrounding his appointment was discussed, one of which is his dual citizenship, but he said to us categorically that his father is 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.
“He even showed us the approval of the then DG that he was allowed to marry her. I think she’s Fadilah by name. She’s from Katsina. She did her secondary school in Sandamu, according to the documents supplied to us. He said really he did his primary school in Chad, but he did secondary school in Nigeria and his first degree was in BUK. We saw all that”.