Monday, 17 April 2017

Recovered $43M, £27,000, N23M: NIA Moves To ‘officially’ Reclaim Ikoyi Cash

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief, Dapo
Akinrefon & Wahab Abdulah
…Insists money is its own; says it’s
normal safe house practice worldwide
…Discloses NIA boss had one-hour pre-
raid talks with Magu …Adds Magu ignored warning not to raid
NIA safe house
…Wike urges prayers; insists money
belongs to Rivers LAGOS—Indications emerged last night that the
National Intelligence Agency, NIA, will officially
apply to reclaim the $43 million, £27,000 and N23
million recovered by the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission, EFCC, from a building on
Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, according to sources. The NIA had earlier laid claims to the money, amid
counter-claims by Governor Nyesom Wike of
Rivers State that the money belonged to his state. This came on a day Minister of Information &
Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said looters of
public funds were now burying money in
cemeteries and in deep forests. Mohammed, who stated this in a statement issued
by his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, yesterday,
also said the whistle-blower policy had led to the
recovery of looted funds in many currencies that
might not have been discovered, describing it as
an effective tool for fighting corruption in Nigeria. The minister’s revelation came as Governor Wike
asked Christians in Rivers State to pray
aggressively for the state in its efforts to recover
the N13 billion discovered in a building at Ikoyi,
Lagos, by the EFCC, last Wednesday. This is even as Socio-Economic Rights and
Accountability Project, SERAP, yesterday asked
President Buhari to address the nation on the real
ownership of the N13bn. According to the source, President Muhammadu
Buhari was aware that the money was NIA’s and
had even inspected some of its covert operations
on which part of the money was spent. NIA boss spoke with Magu On why the money was kept in a building in a
residential area, the source said: “Such monies are
kept in safe houses in residential areas so as not to
arouse suspicion. It is the practice everywhere in
the world.”

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