Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday recovered $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 from an Osborne Street, Ikoyi apartment in Lagos thanks to a tip from a whistle-blower.
The total value of the recovered sum is in the region of N13 billion and blakkpepper.com understands there is conflicting claims as to the purpose of the sum and its very presence in the secret apartment.
While one report claims the sum is a discreet allocation released to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for major but covert security projects, EFCC leadership is not buying the claim.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan is said to have approved the funds for NIA’s use for “crucial and covert security projects” which came directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria to mask its tracking by unauthorized eyes.
Sources say when incumbent Director General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke was alerted that EFCC operatives had swooped on the apartment, being discreetly guarded by covert operatives, he rushed to the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja to advise its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to withdraw his men as the funds belonged to government but Magu ignored the intervention allowing police officers and soldiers, accompanied by photographers and videographers to break into the apartment, dismantle safes in which the funds were concealed and released the footages to the world.
Officials say President Buhari has since directed Mr. Magu to forward to him detailed report on the operation while the EFCC boss is also to immediately deposit the funds with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a ruling on Thursday, Justice Muslim Hassan ordered a temporary forfeiture of the money to the government. He adjourned further proceedings to May 5 for anyone interested or wishing to claim the money or make a case why it should not be permanently forfeited to government.