Reps to probe fresh $44m NIA scandal

The House of Representatives has ordered it committee on National Security and Intelligence to investigate a fresh $44million scandal at the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The House also resolved to investigate the controversy surrounding the appointment of a new Director General for the agency, Rufai Abubakar.

The resolutions followed a motion moved by Diri Douye (PDP, Bayelsa), entitled ‘need to investigate the alleged carting away of $44 Million from the NIA and the Issue surrounding the appointment of its new Director General.’

It would be recalled that on 12th April last year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed a residential flat on the 7th floor of Osborne Towers located at Ikoyi, Lagos where a humongous find of foreign currencies and naira notes to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m was uncovered.

This find triggered by a whistle-blower subsequently led to the sacking of the former DG of the agency, Ayo Oke by President Muhammed Buhari.

It would also be recalled that on 26th April last year, the House resolved to investigate that particular scandal, following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Mr. Gabriel Kolawole (APC, Ondo) and the same committee on National Security and Intelligence was saddled with the investigations.

The committee is yet submitted a report on the first case before now being asked to probe this fresh controversy.

Leading the debate on Tuesday, Douye noted that “the appointment of a new Director General of the National Intelligence Agency in person of Rufai Abubakar” has attracted controversy about the “identity, nationality, citizenship and even competence of the new DG.”

The lawmaker further noted that “the NIA has again been visited by another scandal merely two days after resumption of office by the new DG where $44m cash in the agency’s vault in Abuja was allegedly carted away,” when “the nation is yet to recover from the shock of the Ikoyi gate safe House scandal involving $43.4m, N23m and £27,800 and the report of which is yet to be made public.”

According to him, “the controversy over the appointment and the cash scandal paints a poor picture of our National Security and diminishes the reputation of the agency in the eyes of the Nigerian public and international community” and stressed that  “if this is the type of image we intend people to see, then we are doomed.”

Supporting the motion, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) said “this is a monumental embarrassment, the worrisome part of this debacle is that even the Ikoyi-gate report has not been brought forward, we don’t have to burden the committee on National Security and Intelligence, rather we should set up an ad-hoc committee.”

The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, said that since the motion was an investigation call, there was no need to debate it. He thereafter put the question and the “ayes” had it.

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