No money is missing from the vaults of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) as reported in the media, senior government officials said yesterday.
The officials were responding to a report in the Daily Trust on Sunday that $44million in cash kept at NIA vaults at its headquarters in Abuja was removed to an unknown destination.
The alleged evacuation was reportedly carried out two days after Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar was appointed as its new Director-General by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the officials said the National Security Adviser, who posted a Brigadier-General to Head the Finance Directorate of the NIA following the Ikoyi apartment finds, is believed to have ordered the evacuation of the money following the appointment of a new DG.
The discovery of the $43m at the Ikoyi apartment led to the removal of the then DG, Ayo Oke.
Speculation is that the NSA had tagged the money as being an exhibit in connection with the Ikoyi heist.
“What is curious to officials in the Presidency is why now? What links this money and that found in Ikoyi? Why wasn’t the money earlier than now, when the Acting DG kept it intact?”
The sources explained that the Ikoyi money would not have caused a problem if it was found in the offices of the NIA because it is not unusual for secret service organizations to keep money in hard currencies.
They said the reported $44million has been at the NIA headquarters and is known to be there.
“Why would anyone move it out now? If it has to be moved, why not to the TSA account in the CBN which the President would have liked?” they asked.