A government official told journalists on Saturday that in the first instance, "Oke did not brief the NSA at all about the existence of such funds-$289M- or the projects they were meant for when the Buhari administration took office in May 2015, even though the money had been released in March the same year.
The offifial stated: 'The NSA office only got its first knowledge of the existence of such funds during the work of the presidential committee that audited the Defense Equipment Procurement in the Armed Forces. The Committee had observed certain payments from the CBN to the NIA and raised questions drawing the attention of the NSA.
'When the suspended DG of the NIA discovered that that Committee was raising questions and to forestall the NSA from "blowing the cover," he then gave his first report to the NSA on the existence of such funds and warned that the Committee's job does not cover the activities or the spendings of the NIA.
"The Presidential Committee on Audit of Defense Equipment Procurement, in the course of its assignment came across information that the NIA received a huge sum of money in early 2015 from the former President.
Based on this the NSA carried out a preliminary investigation during which the NIA claimed the money was released for some projects aimed at commencing the Agency's 30th anniversary.This was in January 2017."
'Subsequently, a team was constituted" to ascertain the situation. The first suspicion of a potential abuse was noticed at this stage, according to sources, especially considering the amount of money involved and the purposes stated.
"This was how the NSA and the Presidency learnt of the existence of such funds. We were not told by anyone in NIA until the Committee saw something, and raised a red flag. However, when the embattled NIA top spy was now compelled to explain what was happening, "he still did not inform anyone in the Federal Government or presidency that he kept $43m of the said funds in cash at a private apartment anywhere in Lagos or any part of the country."
"This is the issue: the NSA was not told that NIA had this lump cash stashed away in the place it was eventually discovered by EFCC. In any case, extant rules are clear that such monies ought only to be placed in the NIA headquarters or in CBN vaults.