The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is claiming ownership of the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 seized Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, owned by Mr. Adamu Muazu, a former governor of Bauchi state and ex-National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The NIA is the government security agency tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations in Nigeria.
A ranking government official with knowledge of the latest twist to the seizure confirmed to THEWILL that NIA Director General, Ambassador Ayodele Oke, has been in touch in EFCC’s boss, Ibrahim Magu, to express his displeasure over the raid at the apartment used as one of NIA’s safe houses in Lagos for its clandestine operations.
The official said Magu, whose confirmation as substantive chairman of the agency has been frustrated by the DSS and the Senate, has been under pressure to show President Muhammadu Buhari the billions of naira he told the president during a meeting that the EFCC had recovered under his leadership. “So he is on a reckless search for monies hence all these strings of raids and seizures within the last one week,” the source who asked not be identified said.
“I can authoritatively tell you that money belongs to the NIA. The DG has come forward to claim it and has informed my office of the development. He is furious with Magu for his agency’s recklessness and for compromising their operations,” the official told THEWILL.
Meanwhile, Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the cash and ordered that the funds be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government and adjourned till May 5, 2017, for anyone interested in the funds to show up before him to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
THEWILL had previously linked Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, a former Managing Director, Retail, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to the haul found in an apartment on the 7th floor. She denied ownership of the cash in a statement by her attorney Thursday though admitted residing on the second floor.
Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue was invited to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja for questioning on Thursday.
The EFCC has however transported the cash to the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos Island.