Whistleblowing policy, NIA to apply officially to recover Ikoyi stashed $43m. 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.” The source said NIA operatives avoided a shoot-out with EFCC operatives to avert embarrassing the government.It also confirmed that the Director-General of NIA had a conversation that lasted about one hour with acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, prior to the invasion of the house but was ignored.