The Ownerless Money and the Estranged Owner

To put matters in context, on the April 17, 2017 news made it round that the EFCC acting on the tip off of a whistle blower has discovered huge funds in an Ikoyi residence, all totalling some 13 billion naira.

While Nigerians were taken aback by the oozing rot and tragedy—rightly so in a country undergoing recession and a baptism of suffering—yet a few rejoiced at the resurrection of the EFCC, under the unwanted wanted Caesar of corruption fight, Ibrahim Magu. Finally many took to the mountaintops and hilltops; Nigeria has found the will to tackle impunity.

But like everything Nigerian, the tragic-comedy that was in the making had only served the tragedy, while the sinister comedy lurk in the shadows. Now emerging from formlessness, we are treated to a game of shadows. Exclusively reporting, Premium Times now asserts that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) now claims that the money belongs to it.

Just as the money emerging from shadows, Nigerians are now treated to the existence of a National Intelligence Agency, existing outside of the Department of State Security, yet Nigeria has been ordained and has been officiating as the vicar of corruption, terrorism, militancy and kidnapping on an unprecedented scale. Perhaps, the intelligence agency found it more convenient to act as the safe house of ‘unappropriated’ funds.

The scandalous claim of the NIA comes, as claims are gaining grounds that the flat belongs to the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who has been alleged to be a baron of righteous corruption. The horrifying claim, designed as part of a poorly coordinated response raises just as about many questions as weary souls would care to ask.

The said funds were alleged to have been approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan, a saint who officiated for the corrupt, but interestingly the same report by Premium Times alleged that the president purportedly asked the two officers, the EFCC boss and the NIA boss, to submit their reports to the AGF for investigations and findings. This is clever, but a massive ‘delegitimization’ of the explanations offered by the NIA. It could only mean one thing, the president was not informed of the existence of the funds, which were released since 2014. So security projects were being undertaken in a country without the knowledge of the chief security officer and commander in chief of all the armed forces of the country for almost two years now. That is absolutely hilarious and embarrassing.

In conclusion, we may be tempted to ask, what sort of intelligence agency did not know beforehand of the EFCC raid? What sort of intelligence agency executes security projects without the knowledge and approval of the president or that fails to brief the president on the progress and status of the projects? How come the safes were the money was kept was opened with the correct keys, and yet the EFCC claimed not to know the owners of the money before hand? Why was there no communication between the NIA and the EFCC immediately operatives of the latter stormed the apartment? Or will NIA have Nigerians believe that it kept such amount of money in an apartment without an in house agent assigned to continuously monitor the funds? Apparently, some people think they can the Nigerians for granted.