Members of the House of Representatives have vowed never to stop investigation into the recently recovered $43 million at Osborne House in Ikoyi, Lagos until the ownership of the luxury apartment and the huge cash is unraveled.
The lawmakers said they would not relent despite the claims by the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, DG, NIA, Ayo Oke that the cash discovered and impounded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC belonged to the Agency. Chairman, House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Sani Jaji gave the assurance after its committee met behind closed doors with the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu on Friday.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Jaji said that Magu had furnished them with some vital information which was helpful in their investigation. He also hinted that the Committee would be meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Goodwin Emefiele this week on the matter.
He said: “In continuation the mandate given the Committee by the House, we just met with the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in relation to the $43m discovered in an apartment in Ikoyi and the meeting was very fruitful. “We have been meeting with relevant stakeholders concerned in this matter before now, having met with Mr. Magu, it is our resolve to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion because more revelations are coming out.
“It should be understandable that we cannot come out with some of these facts now since the investigation is not concluded yet, but it is our mandate to find out the owner of that apartment and the ownership of the money, notwithstanding that the Nigerian Intelligence Agency NIA has laid claim to both.
“Notwithstanding the sensitivity of the assignment, the EFCC has been able to give us some important information in relation to the money. We were told what led to the operation, how it was carried out. We were even obliged with pre and post operation information that would definitely be of immense boost to the investigation. “I think we are heading somewhere different from where we are today.
What has emerged now is that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele would have to appear the Committee and that is going to be next (this) week. His submission will be very important to this investigation”. On whether the suspended DG, Oke has been invited by the Committee, the Chairman said it would decide on that after collating necessary information.
“Since the agency claimed to own the money, it is pertinent for the Committee to be in a vantage position to be able to proceed from informed point based on the submissions of the previous invited stakeholders. “Definitely, after the invitation of the CBN governor, the Committee will then decide when to invite the suspended DG and it is afterwards that we can now come up with a comprehensive report which will be available to all Nigerians after the House might have considered and adopted it.
“We must however have at the back of our minds that the essence of the exercise is the protection of our institutions and should not be allowed to public ridicule”, he said. It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in April, this year suspended Oke alongside the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal and set up a 3 man panel headed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the duo.
While Oke was investigated for his claims of the money, Lawal’s probe bothered on his role in the N200 million grass cutting financial scandal of the North East Presidential Initiative, PINE for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the boko haram infested north east, Nigeria. The committee which had long concluded its work is yet to make the report public.