$202m Missing In NIA — Reps Panel

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The sum of $202 million is missing at the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) a House of Representatives panel has said.

The panel said the amount was the balance of $289m said to have been approved as intervention fund for the agency by the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

The chairman of the committee on public safety and national intelligence, Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara) which is investigating the alleged disappearance of $44m from the agency’s vault and the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as NIA boss, told journalists in Abuja that the panel was making headway.

Jaji, who spoke after meeting with several top government intelligence officials behind closed-doors in Abuja, said their findings so far revealed that the $44m was not missing from NIA’s vault but that it was moved.

“We had a meeting too with the NSA. We later discovered from our meeting since last week that the $44m isn’t missing. For that one, I can tell you they moved the money from one place to another. We’re still investigating. If we get 60 to 70 percent of what we’re supposed to get, then we can tell you.

“But for now, I’ll tell you categorically that the money isn’t missing. They only moved it from the agency to another place pending when all these issues surrounding the agency are resolved,” he said.

The lawmaker added that; “If you remember, this $44m is part of the $289m approved to the then DG, Ayo Oke. There was the issue of $43m found in Ikoyi. He tried to say that the $44m and the $43m are part of the $289m.

“But for us, we’re still working to see where the remaining $202m was placed. We only know about the $43m recovered in Ikoyi and the $44m recovered from their vault.”

Asked if the entire balance of $202m is missing, Jaji said: “Yes, for me it’s still missing. The money in question is $289m, and all what the former DG is trying to say is that the $43m and the $44m are part of the $289m.

“If you subtract $43m and $44m, where’s the balance? That’s why we’re where we are today, and that’s also why we have to intensify the investigation.”

He also said that the entire $289m was not appropriated for by the National Assembly at the time.

‘NIA DG Rufai is a Nigerian’

Jaji also said the new DG had showed the panel documents to prove that he is a Nigerian and allegations that he did not pass promotion examination while serving in the agency were untrue.

“One of the issues is that some are saying he has dual citizenship, but he said to us categorically that his father is from Katsina and he (his father) after sometime decided to migrate from Katsina to Chad. His mother is a Nigerian, and his wife too is a Nigerian.

“He even showed us the approval of the then DG that he was allowed to marry her. I think she’s Fadilah by name. She’s from Katsina. She did her secondary school in Sandamu, according to the documents supplied to us. He did his primary school in Chad, but his secondary school was in Nigeria; his first degree was in BUK. We saw all that.

“Having interacted with him, we found out that already there are allegations against him in the social media, about his person and what have you. By and large, the issue of saying there are some directors in the agency that are protesting the appointment, as the chairman, we didn’t receive any information in this regard.

“We tried to find out from the DG and some staff working in the agency, and there’s no protest. For me, it’s just something anonymous; there’s none.

“We also saw all the promotion exams that he went through when he was in service. He passed all the promotion exams that we saw in his file. We also saw that he retired not as an assistant director but as a deputy director. According to him, he retired voluntarily, that’s what we saw in the retirement notification in his file.”

Asked if tendering documents to the committee was ok, Jaji said they are still investigating, saying there was need for the panel to reduce tension in the polity in view of the attention the issues had generated.

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