Fresh controversy has trailed the discovery of a whopping sum of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 seized Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, owned by Mr. Adamu Muazu, a former governor of Bauchi state and ex-National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Nigeria’s equivalent of the United State’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is reportedly claiming ownership of the recovered monies.
According to online newspaper THE WILL, a top ranking government official with knowledge of the latest twist to the seizure disclosed that NIA Director General, Ambassador Ayodele Oke, has been in touch in EFCC’s boss, Ibrahim Magu, to express his displeasure over the raid at the apartment used as one of NIA’s safe houses in Lagos for its clandestine operations.
The official said Magu, whose confirmation as substantive chairman of the agency has been frustrated by the DSS and the Senate, has been under pressure to show President Muhammadu Buhari the billions of naira he told the president during a meeting that the EFCC had recovered under his leadership. “So he is on a reckless search for monies hence all these strings of raids and seizures within the last one week,” the source who asked not be identified said.
“I can authoritatively tell you that money belongs to the NIA. The DG has come forward to claim it and has informed my office of the development. He is furious with Magu for his agency’s recklessness and for compromising their operations,” the official reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the cash and ordered that the funds be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government and adjourned till May 5, 2017, for anyone interested in the funds to show up before him to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, a former Managing Director, Operations, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had initially been linked to the cash found in an apartment on the 7thfloor. She denied ownership of the cash in a statement by her attorney Thursday though admitted residing on the second floor.