A fresh report has revealed that the suspended National Intelligence Agency, NIA Director General, Mr. Ayo Oke was not well trained in intelligence operations and should not have been appointed to head the agency, but was forced on it by the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan for personal financial gains
According to Sahara Reporters, several NIA officials said that the nature of the NIA’s operations and the poor quality of the agency’s leadership made the NIA susceptible to suspicious expenditures.
One NIA officer claimed that Mr. Oke was not well trained in intelligence operations, and should not have been appointed to head the NIA, adding, however, that former First Lady Patience Jonathan insisted on his appointment for “personal financial reasons.”
According to this source, the NIA had officers who were better suited to take up the DG post when the former DG, Olaniyi Oladeji, retired in 2013. However, the source claimed that Mr. Oladeji, who was close to Mrs. Jonathan, assured her that Mr. Oke was the most trustworthy official to continue “settling her.”
The NIA source added that the former First Lady then influenced Mr. Oke’s appointment as the successor to Mr. Oladeji.
In a related development, EFCC sources told SaharaReporters that the anti-corruption agency tracked several NIA operatives who had massively enriched themselves from funds diverted from the Nigerian treasury under President Goodluck Jonathan. Some of the operatives were found to have built hotels and purchased luxury vehicles from funds reportedly stolen from a lavish security budget meant to support the fight against the Islamist insurgency group, Boko Haram.
One EFCC source added that his agency decided to ignore Mr. Oke, the DG of NIA, when he rushed to their office claiming that the anti-corruption agency was compromising a covert operation by breaking into the apartment where they found the stash of cash. According to the EFCC source, their investigators have so far found no credible evidence that the NIA was using the hoarded cash for any legitimate covert operation. Instead, he said, there was significant evidence that the apartment in Ikoyi was used as an illegal warehouse for public funds embezzled in the most brazen manner.
The EFCC also argued that, apart from the irresponsible and careless manner in which the cash was stored, they also found paraphernalia of the Goodluck/Sambo campaign in the apartment. They claimed that if the DG of the NIA was waiting to finish the renovation of an official building in Lagos to warehouse the funds, nothing stopped the intelligence agency from keeping the cash in a CBN vault in Lagos.
A PDP youth activist, Deji Adeyanju, yesterday lent credence to the suspicion that the stashed funds were part of the illegal campaign war chest from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s failed reelection bid. In a series of tweets, Mr. Adeyanju praised President Buhari for firing Mr. Oke, claiming that the embattled NIA boss sabotaged President Jonathan's campaign funds by diverting funds meant for the campaign and hiding them at the Lagos apartment.
Mr. Adeyanju also stated that after Femi Fani-Kayode, a senior campaign spokesman for the Jonathan campaign,was arrested for illegally receiving part of the security funds budgeted for the fight against Boko Haram, Mr. Oke offered to give Mr. Fani-Kayode $1m to use to bribe his way out of trouble. He said Mr. Fani-Kayode rejected the offer.
I want to commend president Buhari for suspending NIA DG over Ikoyi loot. Guy is a thief. He diverted campaign funds of GEJ for personal use— Adeyanju Deji 🇳🇬 (@adeyanjudeji) April 19, 2017
The guy offered to give @realFFK $1m cash to bribe Ibrahim Magu to stop his investigation but FFK declined. I'm a witness.— Adeyanju Deji 🇳🇬 (@adeyanjudeji) April 19, 2017
Guy Na thief.
The NIA DG and many who worked with GEJ sabotaged the 2015 elections in many ways. Now is not the time for talking.— Adeyanju Deji 🇳🇬 (@adeyanjudeji) April 19, 2017