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COVER STORIES

Suspended NIA DG Spent $35m On PDP Delegates

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By Tunde Oguntola,

Fresh facts have emerged that the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, allegedly paid the sum of $35 million to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) delegates during the 2015 presidential primaries.

LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that all the 350 delegates were paid $10,000 each, amounting to $35 million.

The $35 million was said to be part of Oke’s comprehensive money laundering scheme and contribution to fund former President Goodluck Jonathan’s election campaign in 2015, which was shared by Nenadi Usman and Femi Fani Kayode.

Our correspondent gathered that the said money was easily diverted without questioning since Oke runs the NIA accounts alone.

Officials of the NIA at the weekend told Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Panel investigating the source of the controversial N43bn discovered in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi in Lagos that the embattled NIA boss runs the agency’s accounts in exclusion of its principal officers.

It was gathered that Oke failed to inform the NSA about the company used to purchase the flat belonging to his wife, citing the imperatives of operational application of need to know, saying his action amounted to a conflict of interest.

NIA officials also accused Oke of running a non-inclusive management, even as he left the deputy director, Admin and the deputy director, operations, out of important policy decisions.

According to the officials, Oke did inform the president and the NSA, but failed to make a full disclosure, just as he did not intimate the NSA of the money kept at the Osborne Towers.

They said he hinged his decision not to make full disclosure on the instrument of NIA procedures which states: “The director-general is responsible to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for proper expenditure and accounting of all funds made available to the agency from the security votes.

“The accounts of the NIA shall not be subject to external audit, but the director-general shall by the first week of March every year, render to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces certificates showing the total sums expended during the preceding period and the mission under which the expenditure was made and copy the NSA”.

On the other hand, the NSA wrote a letter to the president, dated March 24,  2016, in which he said it has been established that Oke briefed the President and the NSA on two projects in Lagos and Abuja approved by the former President Jonathan for which money was released.

The NSA letter reads: “Based on this, the office of the NSA carried out preliminary investigation during which the NIA claimed that the money was released for some projects aimed at commemorating the agency’s 30th Anniversary”.

The concluding paragraph of NSA’s letter to President Buhari noted: “Though these are noble objectives, the possibility exists for the proceeds to be misused in the future by NIA leadership”.

Another document before Osinbajo committee is the NSA’s letter to the NIA Director-General referenced NSA/332/S  which empanelled and mandated a three-man verification team to conduct a comprehensive inspection on the NIA projects in Lagos and Abuja.

The letter states: “In accordance with constituted guarantee relating to the establishment and structure and constituted guarantee and duties of the NIA enshrined in the paragraph 12, sub-section 2, the office of NIA henceforth take the task of verifying the current state of the projects and associated records”.

The NSA’s letter concluded thus: “The NIA is hereby required to avail the NSA bi-annual updates on these projects until completion”.

 





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