EXCLUSIVE: Former NIA Boss Who Hid $43Million Cash In Apartment To Be Appointed NSA By Tinubu
A former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ayodele Oke is reportedly scheming to be made the National Security Adviser by President Bola Tinubu.
It was learnt on Sunday that Oke, who hid over $43 million in an apartment in Lagos and got booted out of office, was trying to use his closeness to the President to secure the appointment.
It was reported on April 2017 how Oke hid over $43 million from both the then President and National Security Adviser.
“The Former NIA Director, Oke who hid $43 million in Ikoyi apartment is reportedly back and scheming to be made NSA.
“Apparently, he is close to Tinubu and he is trying to use that,” a top source said.
How Nigeria’s Suspended Intelligence Agency Director Tried To Explain Away $43m Cash Found In Lagos Apartment
Apr 20, 2017
Oke was widely reported to have claimed that the current NSA, General Babagana Munguno (retd.) was aware of the existence of the money, but authoritative government sources told the newspaper that what happened “is significantly different from that claim.”
Sources said Oke did not brief the NSA about the existence of such funds or the projects they were meant for when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took office in May 2015, even though the money was released in March of the same year.
The NSA office, it was learnt, only got its first knowledge of the existence of such funds during the work of the presidential committee that audited the Defense Equipment Procurement in the Armed Forces. The Committee had observed certain payments from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the NIA and raised questions which drew the attention of the NSA to the issues.
It was learnt that when the suspended DG of the NIA discovered that a committee was raising questions, to prevent the NSA from “blowing the cover,” he then gave his first report to the NSA on the existence of such funds and warned that the committee’s job did not cover the activities or the spendings of the NIA.
It was also learned that the projects for which the former President approved the funds totalling $289 million included two in Lagos whose costs were put at about $28 million, which is way less than the $43 million cash found in the Ikoyi apartment.
SaharaReporters had further reported that sources explained that as of January 2017, funds for the Lagos projects had actually been released to the tune of $18 million, meaning only about $10 million was left to be paid four months earlier before over $43 million was found in the Lagos apartment.
In November 2017, the anti-corruption body Economic and Financial Crimes Commission announced that it was inviting Oke for questioning.
Meanwhile, Oke had been sacked as NIA chief by President Buhari, about six months after he was first suspended.
His suspension came after the EFCC found about $43.45 million in the Lagos apartment. The commission later said the house where the money was found was rented in the name of Oke’s wife, Folashade.
It later secured a court order to ensure the money was forfeited to the Nigerian government.
A panel led by then Vice President Yemi Osinbajo later recommended Oke’s dismissal after looking into the circumstances surrounding the cash haul.
In March 2019, the EFCC declared Oke and his wife, Folashade, wanted after they failed to answer for fraud charges filed against them.
Justice Chukwujeku Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos had issued an arrest warrant against the duo, consequent upon an oral application by Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC counsel.
Oke and his wife were declared wanted in connection with the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 cash recovered by the EFCC from the Lagos apartment in April 2017.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly converted $160,777,136.85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to your own use which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”