BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The presidential committee investigating the Osborne Towers recovered money led by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is believed to have collected all relevant documents relating to what transpired from the NIA, EFCC, ONSA, and SGF office.
Forefront gathered that the committee, mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the money saga associated with the suspended Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, over the Osborne Towers recovery and the grass-cutting contracts linked with the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Lawal Babachir, has made tremendous progress on the assignment given to it.
A dependable source close to the committee confided in Forefront that all relevant documents relating to what transpired from the NIA, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), and the suspended SGF’s office are in the custody of the committee.
It was authoritatively gathered that documents at the disposal of the committee speaks for itself, even if the relevant authorities were informed on the projects on ground,
A specific reference was in respect of a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated 24th March 2016, in which the National Security Adviser (NSA) reported uncovering a huge sum of money released to Director General of NIA by the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015.
It was further gathered that when the suspended NIA Chief was confronted on the issue, he responded by saying that the money was released for some major projects to mark the Agency’s 30th anniversary.
In concluding the said letter, the NSA, General Monguno raised an issue saying that “however the noble objectives surrounding the anniversary projects and related covert operations, there is the possibility for the process to be misused or abused in the future by the NIA leadership”
Similarly, another document related to the investigation was a correspondence by the NSA to DG NIA with Ref NSA/332/5 Dated 17th May 2016, in which the NSA stated; “Please recall that on February 2016 I empanelled and mandated a three (3) man verification team to conduct comprehensive assessment of the NIA projects in Lagos and Abuja. “In view of the foregoing and in accordance with the legal and constitutional guarantees relating to the establishment structure, composition and duties of the NIA enshrined in subsection 1 and 2 of the instrument no 1 of the National Security Agencies Decree (CAP 278 LFN), quote the instrument in full. “The office of the NSA shall henceforth take on the task of verifying the current state of the projects and associated records. In the context of these oversight functions, the NIA is hereby requires availing the NSA regular updates on these projects until completion,” the NSA stated.
But another source at the NIA, said apart from the conflict of interest, when Ambassador Oke used his wife’s company for the Osborne flat, neither the two Deputy Director Generals at the NIA, nor its management were privy to what the suspended NIA boss was doing as he was often at the beck and call of former President Jonathan or his wife.
The source further said; “There was a sense of personal gratitude to the former president, for appointing him DG, NIA and his decision not to make full disclosure to President Buhari and the NSA borders on disloyalty, conspiracy and criminal concealment of information to superior authority.
“It was incontrovertible that only one man concealed to himself the custody and knowledge of the huge amount taken privately. He never disclosed to anybody within and outside the Agency the whereabouts of such huge amount at his disposal kept unlawfully.
“Also there was no record in the NIA indicating the Ikoyi flat as a safe house or operational base of the Agency.”
Baring any last minute change of plans arising from administrative logistics, the Vice President-led Investigative Committee is expected to conclude its assignment this week and present its report to the president in line with the two-weeks mandate.
The Committee is credited with having officially commenced its work on Thursday, April 20, 2017