Controversies over Chadian citizenship of New NIA DG as another $44m missing from vault last Friday

NIAThe recent appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the new National Intelligence Agency, NIA has raised a lot of controversies from different quarters as some argue that the head of the intelligence agency is a Chadian citizen.

Another controversy the News Digest gathered was over alleged missing 44 million dollars from the vault of the agency.

A Nigerian news portal, DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the new D-G was born in Chad Republic and had his primary and secondary education in the same central African country.

There have been fears in the security circle that a person with dual citizenship should not be made the head of the country’s spy agency.

“Chad has not been cooperating with Nigeria on Boko Haram crisis in the Lake Chad region. How could a Chadian citizen, whose many siblings and relations live in Chad head this strategic agency?

“It is also not right to appoint the heads of Nigeria’s internal and external security outfits from one state, Katsina. The acting D-G, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda should either be retained — going by his experience and good service track-record — or appoint someone from the South to balance our diversity.

Mr Abubakar, who until his appointment served as the president’s Arabic and French interpreter, joined the NIA from the service of Katsina State under Zakari Ibrahim in the mid 90s and resigned after failure to pass promotion exam twice.

After his resignation from service, Mr Abubakar was engaged by Mr Kingibe to be his assistant during his peace missions in some crisis-ridden African regions due to his (Mr Abubakar’s) bilingual advantage. Meanwhile in another development Daily Trust reports that another scandal has hit the NIA at the weekend when 44 million dollars in cash kept in its vault in Abuja was removed to an unknown destination.

It further reports that the money surreptitiously removed even before agency new DG resumed office, tracing the origin go the money, the Newspaper disclosed that the Jonathan administration releases over 260 million dollars to NIA as general intervention fund. At the time Federal Government launched an investigation into the funds last year only the cash discovered in Lagos and the 44 million dollars lying in Abuja vault remaained to be expended out of the original 260 million dollars.

As soon as it started its probe, the Osibanjo led committee directed that the money must remain in NIA’s vault as exhibits.

Daily Trust further reports that while the money remained in the vault certain. Powerful forces mounted pressure on the acting DG, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda who was redeployed from Chad to use the money since it is the property of NIA but the acting DG refused.

“The powerful forces pushed very hard for the money to be tempered with saying government had forgotten all about it, but the firm resistance of the out going DG.

“But barely two days after President Buhari named a substantive head for the agency, a black bullion van was dispatched to NIA and the money was removed to an unknown destination around 6am on Friday. The team that removed the money was accompanied by a serving military officer who was posted to the intellegence outfit months ago as the finance officer.

“The total amount of money that was taking away from NIA’s vault on Friday was $44,285,996.

The News Digest recalls that April 12, 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, discovered a humongous haul of local and foreign currencies to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m at a four-bedroom apartment on the 7th floor at Osborne Towers, located at 16 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The then Director-General of the NIA, Ayo Oke, later owned up to the seizure, saying the money belonged to the agency.

Abdulazeez Author

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