The whereabouts of the recovered $43.4 Million Ikoyi loot is still a mystery as all of the involved parties have either denied knowing the money’s location or kept mute.
Recall the likes of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Accountant-General of the Federation, among others, in one way or another, have been mentioned by the House of Representatives in their probing of money incident.
On the part of CBN, the apex bank refused to officially comment on the spot where the money is secured, leveraging on guidelines restricting its officials from disclosing information on the status of any fund to a third party.
For the CBN to reveal any detail concerning the financial status of a particular fund under its custody, it was learned that the seeker of that information would have to obtain a court order first or parliamentary request before gaining access.
A banker who preferred to remain anonymous explained that the CBN in such a scenario would maintain ban customers’ confidentiality arrangements as the financial institution under the present administration.
Although several indications pointing to CBN as the bearer of the Ikoyi cash also suggests Government transferred the money to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF Account.
Location of $43.4m Ikoyi Loot
Just last week, the National Security Agency, NSA, denied having any knowledge of the N43.4 million Ikoyi loot, as the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, rtd., said his office has no connection to the funds.
NSA Boss, represented by the Director of Finance and Admin, Brig. General Ja’afaru Mohammed disclosed this while being quizzed by members of the House of Representatives in Abuja.
While fielding questions from the House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the ‘Management of Recovered Fund, Movable and Immovable Assets Between 2002 and 2020,’ Mohammed noted that the only fund recovered from NIA by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, was about $41 Million.
He further explained that money was identified in the agency’s vaults while NIA was undergoing investigations and restructuring, had since been returned to the agency as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari at the time.
Everyevery.ng earlier reported that the Finance/Admin Director admitted he was instructed to oversee the money recovered from the NIA. He refused to attribute the discovered $41 Million to the $44 Million Ikoyi recovery, even after stating his involvement in counting the funds.
Mohammed later revealed that any fund retrieved by the Committee on Recovered Assets, set up by President Buhari, was immediately remitted into the Recovered Funds Account, domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
He stressed that money can only be deposited into the account with CBN but cannot be withdrawn, not even by the recovery committee under the coordination of the ONSA.
Even while the committee on assets recovery under the jurisdiction of ONSA, Mohammed was quick to add that Babagana Monguno has no input into the committee’s operations as it operates independently.
A team from the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, earlier retrieved the missing fund from the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, who once claimed the money was in the custody of NSA.
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, House of Representatives, Adejoro Adeogun, had quoted the EFCC as saying that the fund recovered from the Osborne Apartment in Ikoyi was in the custody of the ONSA. This occurred during the probe of various government agencies and parastatals involved in the scandal.
What remains unclear in all these episodes is whether the cash has been spent or returned to National Intelligence Agency, NIA, which was the source of the funds.