'Jonathan approved recovered $50m for his 2015 campaign,' Ex-NIA director says

The ex-NIA staff alleged that the cash haul was part of the monies channelled through the NIA by Goodluck Jonathan for his 2015 election campaigns.


A retired employee of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has said that the cash haul was part of the monies channelled through the NIA by Goodluck Jonathan for his 2015 election campaigns, Daily Trust reports.

According to the report, Ibrahim Ibrahim, who retired from the NIA in 2006 as deputy director, said Jonathan approved the money to be distributed to chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the NIA Director-General, Ayodele Oke, did not disburse the funds as directed.

The reasons Oke, who has been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari, held on to the money is unknown - the working theory is that he kept it for his private use.

"A lot of things have happened; a lot of public officers have actually drifted away from the disciplined course and as a result so many things have happened. The NIA is not an exception at all," the newspaper quoted Ibrahim as saying.

"I think what really happened was that the money was issued to the agency (NIA) just in the same way it was given to the NSAs office.

"President Jonathan approved $289 million or so in November 2014 in excess of the approved budget of the agency.

"So, that excess was intended as campaign funds and the agency, the DG NIA in particular, was supposed to disburse the fund but along the way, he found a way of diverting even that one for his own private use."

Speaking further, the ex-NIA staff, who was said to have worked closely with Oke before he retired, alleged that money was laundered through security apparatus - NIA, NSA, DSS.

"It was intended as campaign funds and it was diverted the way money was given to NSA Dasuki that was the same way it was given to Ayo Oke. It was not meant specifically for the operations of the agency but a kind of money laundering for the agency to launder the money for PDP chieftains.

"I think they saw that security agencies are a kind of perfect means through which money laundering for such purposes could be done because it is simply to say the money is for operations," he said.

On whether it was a normal occurrence when he was still in service to keep monies for covert operations in private buildings, Ibrahim said, "It’s abnormal; it’s a total lie. There’s no way any operation would be approved and then it would not be conducted in more than two years. As I said, this money was approved in November 2014 and we’re now in April 2017-two years plus! It’s not normal.

"Certainly President Jonathan approved some money to be laundered through the agency for campaign purposes but he did it as if he was giving the agency allocation of funds for their operations and he did it in excess of their budget."

The operatives of the EFCC had seized $43.4 million, £27,000 and N23 million from an apartment at Osborne Towers in Lagos.

The President on Wednesday set up a three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to unravel the truth behind the funds.


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