A three man, Osinbajo-Monguno-Malami panel to probe the over $43 million found in an apartment in Ikoyi has not yet released its findings to the public; however amidst public discontent, the media has begun to put out tit bits that paint a picture of a grand cover-up in motion.
A latest report in PremiumTimes titled, “EXCLUSIVE: All You Need To Know About The NIA $289million Covert Projects Controversy,” attempted to hoodwink the public into believing that the released was “all they need to know.” How could it possibly be “all Nigerians and the watching world needed to know?” And what was the source of the leaked information in the article?
Obviously since the NIA claims it is a department that operates on secrecy, the information in the article was fed to the editorial by government sources: the NIA and NSA Monguno.
NSA Monguno is implicated in the coverup as well as being on the three-man panel. This automatically renders the panel findings invalid in addition to the panel being too small for any of its kind.
Now let us review some essential things about the recovered stash.
Nigeria does not use Mrs Folashade Oke to carry FOREX cash to buy houses for its NIA.
Nigeria’s NIA does not construct extra-budgetary projects within the country.
Government does not simply pull out funds for departments from any available source, like the oil sector as this case attempts to present.
The currency for projects within Nigeria is Naira. Nigeria’s NIA is not given mint dollars for local projects.
Any funds not used up every year is returned to the treasury and the NIA is not beyond this regulation.
If Nigeria’s NIA needs FOREX, this will be transferred into its account, except the money is for bribes and paying terrorists etc. $289 million dollars for paying terrorists?
If the coverup tale is true, where was the NIA changing the funds into Naira? With mallos (blackmarket) or having to go to the bank after all which will violate their so-called cover.
Do they think Nigerians are too dumb to notice that according to the PremiumTimes timeline, the contracts were planned since 2013 but only presented for approval on February 14th of 2015, the date of the postponed elections?
See excerpt from Timeline:
• 2013-2014: The NIA proposed upgrade to its operation in order to bring it up to speed with modern day intelligence gathering techniques.
The upgrade was first proposed by Olaniyi Oladeji, Mr. Oke’s immediate past predecessor in the NIA. Mr. Oke took over the project after Mr. Jonathan appointed him on November 7, 2013.
He continued working out the modalities for the project before eventually submitting the final proposal to Mr. Jonathan in February 2015.
• February 14, 2015: Mr. Oke wrote a memo —Reference Number: T/S.8/5/Vol. 16— to the former President Goodluck Jonathan titled: National Intelligence Agency Critical Security and Infrastructure Requirement.
Only a fool will believe the above. 1. Whatever projects were developed in 2013 did not involve a budget of $289 million to be released in FOREX. 2. The only reason the FOREX was released on the initial election day was by all logic considering the antecedents of Jonathan’s administration, for elections manipulation ahead of new date. 3. SaharaReporters even reported that PDP paraphernalia was found with the stash. 4. Do we believe another supposed media leak that stated that the money was for security in case of post election riots? 5. Is the NSA defending an earlier publication in PremiumTimes that the projects were illegal?
It is beyond imagination that the NIA boss has not yet been locked up under investigation. The apparent coverup by NSA Monguno, presenting nonspecific documents as coverups for the said funds threatens to most seriously dent the so-called anti-corruption image of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The fact that the NIA was suspended and a panel raised over the issue in itself proves either clueless administration or that this is a late minute coverup. If indeed the NSA briefed the president, this would have been sorted out and no panel constituted.
In short, too many laws have been broken in this shady deal and there is too obvious an attempt to coverup the stash that implicates members of the Jonathan and Buhari government across board including the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele.
As I mentioned in my earlier writing on this topic, “$43m Ikoyi Stash: Will Osinbajo Prosecute Co-panelist NSA Monguno Implicated In Recent Media Updates?” With Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN being head of the panel and Acting president, firing Monguno and allowing the EFCC conduct a proper investigation of the NIA stash and later collaboration and attempt to coverup by the NSA, would be the appropriate course of action. Can we count on this?
Written by Dr. Perry Brimah