The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) said it won’t take legal step at reversing the order of temporary forfeiture of the about N15 billion recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which it claims belongs to the agency.
A source at the NIA yesterday told Daily Trust that the agency would allow a Federal High Court in Lagos, deliver an order of permanent forfeiture of the fund to the Federal Government and then reclaim it later.
The source said “The money is going back to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NIA will write to reapply for the fund, which was actually meant for a covert operation of the agency.”
The source further said the residence where the money was recovered by EFCC operatives at Ikoyi area of Lagos “Is a safe house of the NIA. You know this is a secret agency that is hardly in public glare. The money was meant for an operation and it was kept there and only spent with approval of the Presidency. The Presidency is aware of the funds and gave approvals for spending.”
On claims being made by the Rivers State Government to ownership of the money, the source said, “There is no iota of truth to such claim. Like I told you, the money belongs to the NIA and the agency has no reason to join this issue if it were not its money.
“What does the NIA stand to benefit from shielding any politician? The agency will never smear its reputation in such manner. The fund belongs to the NIA and the agency will follow appropriate steps in reclaiming it.”
Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos had last Thursday ordered temporary forfeiture of the recovered money. The EFCC had last Wednesday recovered the money, which included, $43,449,947, F27,800 and N23,218,000 at an apartment, located at flat 7B, No. 13 Osborne road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi.
The judge adjourned till May 5, 2017 for person(s) to come before him to give reasons why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. Aside the NIA, the Rivers State Government is also laying claims to money.
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