- Babagana Monguno, Nigeria's National Security Adviser has revealed that President Buhari knew about the NIA projects
- Speaking in an interview, Monguno said the president was briefed about the $289m project and approved it
- He also revealed that the EFCC boss, Magu had been approached to back away from the Ikoyi apartment, but he refused
Nigeria’s NSA, Babagana Monguno, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari knew about the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) covert operation that led to N13 billion kept in an apartment in Lagos.
In an interview with Premium Times, Monguno confirmed that he knew about the covert operation and took part in its gradual advancement.
The NSA said: “Detailed brief of this exercise was rendered to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces who expressed satisfaction on your agency’s foresighted disposition on development of its critical infrastructure."
Earlier President Buhari had said he did know about the operation when he suspended Mr Oke, the DG of the NIA from office and set up a panel to investigate the funds.
President Buhari said they were to investigate the “circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.”
A three-man panel, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also included Mr. Monguno and Attorney-General Abubakar Malami was set up to investigate and they are to present their findings to the president on Monday, May 8.
An anonymous source involved in the investigation said the N13 billion discovered in the Ikoyi apartment was part of the $89,298,792 which Mr Oke had reported to President Buhari as cash at hand.
He said: “The movement (of the money) is a standard procedure in clandestine security operations. It was necessitated by the renovation in the safe house.
“Unfortunately, inter-agency rivalry made the EFCC ignore the early warning the NIA gave it to abandon the search after it started."
On Friday, May 5, 2017, the discovered money was forfeited as no one came forward to claim it. The presidential assistant on new media, Tolu Ogunlesi tweeted:
Meanwhile, the EFCC insist that the property belongs to Mr Oke's wife, Mrs Folashade Oke. the EFCC insist that the property belongs to Mr Oke's wife, Mrs Folashade Oke. NAIJ.com reported that when the presiding judge of a federal high court in Lagos, heard the case on Friday, nobody was present to claim the funds.
The story of how a whistle-blower enabled the EFCC discover the money has been told severally. What do Nigerians think of whistle-blowing? Watch this NAIJ.com video: