NIA Intervention Fund: HEDA seeks investigation of FG officials over alleged attempt to divert $44m

Posted by News Express | 26 February 2018 | 1,168 times

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The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate allegations of attempt by government officials to divert $44m of the Nigeria Intelligence Authority (NIA) Intervention Fund.

In a petition forwarded to the acting Chairman of the anti-graft commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, HEDA said it is requesting for investigations and likely prosecution of officials involved in the allegations as contained in a report by Sahara Reporters dated the 6th day of February, 2018.

The petition, signed by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, stated that the requested investigation will go a long way in assuaging the current apathy amidst majority of the populace as to the efforts of the government towards curbing corruption in the country.

The petition reads: “We bring to your attention for urgent attention, the allegations made by Mr. Muhammed Dauda, the immediate past Acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency.

“The said Mr. Dauda has disclosed that he fought off attempts by Messrs. Babagana Kingibe; Former Secretary to the government of Nigeria and his protégé and incumbent Director General of the NIA, Mr. Rufai Abubakar and Abba Kyari, the President’s Chief of Staff to steal $44 million NIA Intervention fund.”

HEDA said the revelation was made in a brief to the House of Representatives committee on National Security and Intelligence.

“Mr. Dauda stated that after his briefing as Acting D.G, NIA by Mr. Arab Yadam, the outgoing D.G, wherein he was given a picture of the agency’s financial position, which included $44 Million he was informed its part of the intervention fund that brought about the Ikoyi apartment cash scandal. Mr. Yadam also introduced him to Brigadier General Mohammed Jaafaru, the Acting Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) who briefed him on the nature of the agency’s assignments.

“Among these are the daily operations of the accounts for both domestic and foreign management. The Acting DFA also told Mr. Dauda that the $44 Million in his custody, which was not part of the agency’s budgetary allocation, should not be touched because it had become an exhibit in an ongoing case. The purpose of the disclosure, Mr. Dauda said, was for his information.

“It was revealed that not long after Mr. Dauda assumed office, the Presidential Review Panel (PRP) headed by Mr. Kingibe started its assignment within the NIA. The agency provided the members of the panel with office space, accommodation, food, and other logistics required for its work. Other members of the said panel included Mr. Albert K. Horsfall, a former DG of the State Security Service; Mr. Olaniyi Oladeji, Mr. ZY Ibrahim both former DGs of the NIA; and the current DG of the NIA, Mr. Abubakar, who was the PRP’s Secretary.

“Mr. Dauda revealed that after his maiden meeting with the panel, Mr. Kingibe called him to advise that in his own interest, he should cooperate with them fully and avoid being close with the President’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno. Mr. Kingibe also disclosed that his panel had Presidential powers to overrule previous instructions or directives issued by the National Security Adviser.”

The ex-NIA boss further stated: “I was instructed to channel all our activities, contacts, concerns and complaints through the office of the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari only.”

HEDA said it was also reported, according to Mr. Dauda, that things went smoothly until Kingibe and Abubakar kept pressuring him for gratification. According to Mr. Dauda, he explained to duo that the agency’s dollar account was low because of the difficulty in sourcing dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria following crisis that arose from the Ikoyi money scandal.

“However, they replied that the $44 Million in the custody of the acting DFA belongs to the agency and that the DFA had no power to stop Mr. Dauda from spending the money. He was advised to write to the National Security Adviser to withdraw the DFA or ask the NIA security department to stop him from accessing the premises of the agency. Mr. Dauda said the pressure was huge, but he felt if Brigadier General Jaafaru left, he might not be able to resist further pressure from the desperate Kingibe led gang.”

Mr. Dauda further stated as follows:

“They kept insisting that they had the mandate of the President and that the President had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to hands off the money and that it was legitimately ours. They verbally queried me on the logic of keeping the money as an exhibit since there was no case pending in court. Ambassador Kingibe told me that he was the one who through the Chief of Staff drafted the memo that the President assented to, instructing the EFCC to hands off our case (Ikoyi Cash Scandal) just to convince me that there are no more encumbrances on the money.”

He said that the PRP undermined the office of the National Security Adviser and always used the President’s name to squeeze cash out of the NIA. The following instances were cited:

Monies for medical treatment abroad. Mr Dauda in this regard said:

“The current DG NIA once called me on whatsapp just like Ambassador Kingibe always does and said that his Oga was traveling to London for medical check-up and he suggested that I should find something for him as a sign of goodwill. So, I reluctantly gave him $50,000 against my will, a decision that made me sad throughout the day.”

Monies for holidays abroad for their families and girlfriends. He said:

“I met and gave a lady Ambassador Kingibe simply introduced as ‘Angela’ money twice at the car park of the Hilton Hotel. Once $50,000 and the second time, $20,000 which apparently did not impress him”

Insistence that he facilitates the removal of the Acting DFA. Mr. Dauda said:

“I was asked to come alone to No. 5a, Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja.  At the meeting, I was told of my refusal to cooperate with them and that they had brought me there to warn that the Acting DFA was conspiring with some people to steal the $44 Million in their safe. I was warned that I will be held liable if I did not stop their plan.”

HEDA said threat that the former Acting DG will only get the President’s nod as the substantive DG only if he could immediately make $2 Million available.

Mr. Dauda said: “They told me that their committee had completed their assignment and that their recommendations were so generous to the DG, NIA. They said they recommended the appointment of two deputy DGs and watered down their powers enough so that they will not be in a position to pose any threat to him as the DG. They then suggested that it was his turn to do something in return by making available $2 Million.”

He stated further that: “I told them it was not going to be possible as the only money available was the $44 Million and I did not know how to approach the Acting DFA, they also told me at the meeting that if I cannot sack the DFA, they would send someone to do it soon. That was my last communication with them until I heard of my removal from office on Wednesday, January, 11 on Channels TV around 8pm.”

He further revealed that the next day, he advised the National Security Adviser to look at the possibility of evacuating the money from the NIA, an advice the NSA heeded. Thus the money was moved and taken to the office of the NSA.

He said subsequently at a meeting to which he was invited by Mr. Abubakar, at the order of Mr. Kyari, Mr. Abubakar was enraged and said the Presidency blamed him for not taking over immediately thereby giving room for the money to be taken away and warned that Mr. Dauda would be held responsible.  Mr. Dauda said he reassured them that no money was missing and that he approved the transfer so the money could be safe and that if there was no ulterior motive, the apprehension was unfounded.

HEDA said: “On the whole, we are of the vehement position that the above is an expose on how much corrupt practices still loom large in our country’s political scenes, even in a sensitive security related office such as the NIA.

“We thereby urge you to use your good office to urgently expand your scope of investigation of the Osborne Ikoyi scandal involving the Former DG of NIA to cover the allegations and characters mentioned in this report with a view to prosecute all indicted officials.”

Source: News Express

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