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» » SUSPENDED NIA DG SET TO STORM PANEL VENUE ON MONDAY WITH VIDEO EVIDENCES
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Suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayodele Oke will tomorrow, Monday, face the Yemi Osinbajo panel investigating the N15 billion cash haul in an Ikoyi apartment, it was gathered at the weekend.

The three-man panel, including the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Munguno and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, is also investigating the N200m contract awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) to Global Vision Limited involving the equally suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

Last Friday, the panel met with the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, for hours at the presidential villa.

The cash, which NIA had reportedly claimed as covert operations fund, was discovered by the anti-graft agency.

It was learnt that one of the visual evidence Oke is likely to table before the panel, is a video-recording of the lodgement of the cash in the said apartment.

The evidence, according to sources in the know, is to prove that the cash wasn’t a slush fund and there was no intention to tamper with it.

A memo to President Muhammadu Buhari after his assumption of office, by Oke, informing him of the existence of the money, would also likely be tendered.

However, there are signals that Oke may answer questions outside the N15 billion discovery and recovery.

It was learnt that an initial probe conducted by the EFCC into the finances of the agency, was indicting of the leadership and officers in the accounts department.

The probe report is believed to be among the documents tendered before the panel on Friday by Magu.

Presidency also gave EFCC the go-ahead to continue with the probe it began on the N15 billion recovery.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson to the commission, refused to confirm or deny if a probe had been conducted into the finances of the agency by EFCC, before the discovery of the cash in Ikoyi, Lagos, especially how many of its contracts were awarded and those they were awarded to.

NIA and EFCC had a rocky relationship before the busting of the cash apartment.

Oke was said to have confirmed the strained relationship with the anti-corruption commission in a leaked memo.

The initial probe by EFCC was reportedly stopped in the interest of  “national security.”

It was also learnt that controversial $43. 4billion found in 7B Apartment at the Osborne Tower in Ikoyi, Lagos State was moved into the place in December 2015, Sunday Tribune can authoritatively report.

Sources emphasised that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the area where the fund was kept was under a 24-surveillance by security operatives.

Though the sources claimed the fund was duly appropriated by the authorities for the NIA, the presidential Committee headed by Osinbajo to investigate the matter was mandated to spread its dragnets beyond the present administration.

It was learnt that committee was now required to beam its searchlight on the operations of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) dating back to previous administrations.

The role of some entrenched interests in the corridors of powers was said to have exacerbated the frosty relationship among some security agencies.

However, the authorities are promising not to spare anyone or agency that might have breached due process in the whole matter.

Findings  have also showed that the panel had been mandated to summon even private individuals who might be linked to all the allegations against the duo.

An administrative committee set up by the Minister of Justice and Attorney -General of the Federation, had earlier given the suspended SGF a clean bill of health, following his indictment by a Senate committee that probed contracts by PINE.

Both cases have caused a hoopla in many quarters, with some groups and individuals accusing the government of a planned cover-up by shielding its own contrary to its avowed promise of no scared cow in the ongoing fight against corruption.

It was gathered that the three-man panel, which has begun its investigation, was given the power to obtain and scrutinise documents capable of assisting the authorities resolve the riddle surrounding the allegations.

The 3-man panel is mandated to investigate allegations of legal and due process violations made against both men under investigation.

“In the discharge of its work, the panel is expected to invite all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases. It will also obtain and scrutinize documents that may throw some light on the issues raised in both cases.

“All its proceedings will however be in closed sessions to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure and enhance the pace of proceedings.

“The panel which is expected to submit its report to the President at the expiration of the 14-day deadline, will conduct it’s work with utmost diligence and without fear or favour,” the informed sources said.
Source:Tribune


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