Could ex President know something about Ikoyi money?
Investigators and news reports suggest that former President Jonathan could shed some light on the $50M found in a residential apartment in Lagos.
Media reports are suggesting that the $50M in cash discovered in Flat 7B, Osborne Towers Ikoyi, Lagos, recently, can be linked to Nigeria's immediate past President.
The cash haul has since been claimed by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
For this, President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Director General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, pending the outcome of investigations.
TheCable is reporting that "the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) collected $289,202,382 in cash from the account of the in February 2015 after the postponement of the general election".
The 2015 general election was shifted from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11 at the time Jonathan was still presiding over Nigeria's affairs.
The administration had cited security concerns as reason for the postponement.
"The President appeals to all stakeholders to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith, as the electoral body has a responsibility to conduct credible elections in which every Nigerian of voting age is afforded the opportunity to exercise their civic right without any form of hindrance", a statement from Reuben Abati, the president's spokesperson at the time, read.
If TheCable's report is to be believed, the $289M in cash was transferred to the NIA by NAPIMS around the period of the postponement of the general elections.
NAPIMS is a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The NIA also operates under the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Lt Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who is currently facing trial for allegedly misappropriating billions of dollars earmarked for the equipping of the military under Jonathan, was Nigeria's NSA back then.
Speaking at the Chatham House, a London Think-thank in January of 2015, Dasuki made a strong case for why the general elections should be postponed.
“It costs you nothing to shift the election, it’s still within the law,” Dasuki had told his London audience at the time.
Security sources have told Pulse that the period of the shift of the general elections provided Dasuki and his cronies sufficient time to move funds from the NNPC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a last ditch attempt at rigging the approaching vote.
Diezani Alison-Madueke who served as Jonathan's petroleum minister, allegedly cornered billions of naira from the coffers of the NNPC.
According to investigatorsworking with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Diezani deployed these slush funds in bribing electoral officers to rig the election for Jonathan.
In the light of the recent discovery of the cash haul in Lagos, TheCable writes: "funds were approved for NIA’s “covert operations” by President Goodluck Jonathan and subsequently withdrawn in cash from NAPIMS account at CBN.
"The entire NIA budget for 2015 was a little over N25B which was about $160 million at the time — further suggesting that the payment was extra-budgetary.
"The Department of State Services (DSS) also got huge sums of cash in naira and dollars for “covert operations” in the run-up to the elections".
Reports suggest that the $50M found in that Ikoyi apartment was part of the $298M received by the NIA from a subsidiary of the NNPC way back in 2015.
Speaking with Pulse on Thursday, presidency sources disclosed that Buhari suspended Oke because he wasn't briefed about the cash or the so called "covert operation" before the EFCC bulldozed its way into the residential apartment last week.
was also told that the committee set up by the President to probe circumstances surrounding the $50M cash discovery, will be speaking with Jonathan and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, among other persons linked with the money.
Emefiele was appointed CBN Governor by Jonathan on June 3, 2014.
The President's committee probing the Ikoyi cash discovery is headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and has Attorney General Abubakar Malami and current NSA Babagana Monguno as members.
Former President Jonathan has also been named in the fraudulent Malabu oil deal which saw bribes totalling some $1.3B; doled out to cronies, middlemen and fronts of the President by Shell and ENI, for the acquisition of a lucrative oil block--OPL 245, circa 2011.
Italian investigators say Jonathan probably received as much as $200M from the illicit deal.
Jonathan and his then Attorney General, Mohammed Adoke, have denied their involvement in the scam.
“We wish to make it clear that former President Jonathan was not accused, indicted or charged for corruptly collecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body the world over,” Jonathan's spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze said in a statement, recently.
However, Eze wasn't immediately available for comments bordering on latest reports linking his principal to the cash haul found in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.
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