The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) resource centre has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the alleged attempt by government officials to divert $44m intervention fund belonging to the Nigeria Intelligence Authority (NIA).
In a petition written to Ibrahim Magu, EFCC acting chairman, HEDA said the allegations were made by Muhammed Dauda, former acting DG of NIA, in a brief to a house of representatives committee.
The petition was signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA’s chairman.
HEDA quoted Dauda as saying he “fought off attempts” by Babagana Kingibe, former secretary to the government of the federation, Rufai Abubakar, incumbent NIA DG, and Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, to steal the intervention fund.
Dauda was quoted as saying that on assuming office as acting DG, he was informed that the said $44 million is part of the NIA’s intervention fund and “should not be touched because it had become an exhibit in an ongoing case”.
The petition read: “It was revealed that not long after Dauda assumed office, the presidential review panel headed by Kingibe started its assignment within the NIA.
“The agency provided the members of the panel with office space, accommodation, food, and other logistics required for its work”.
“Dauda revealed that after his maiden meeting with the panel, Kingibe called him to advise that in his own interest, he should cooperate with them fully and avoid being close with the President’s national security adviser (NSA), Babagana Munguno.
“Kingibe also disclosed that his panel had presidential powers to overrule previous instructions or directives issued by the NSA.”
According to the petition, Dauda said the panel’s activities went smoothly “until Kingibe and Abubakar kept pressuring him for gratification”.
He said the duo allegedly informed him that the said $44 million belongs to the NIA.
“They kept insisting that they had the mandate of the president and that the president had directed the EFCC to hands off the money and that it was legitimately ours,” the petition read, adding that he “reluctantly gave Abubakar $50,000 against my will. I met and gave a lady Kingibe simply introduced as ‘Angela’ money twice at the car park of the Hilton Hotel.
“Once $50,000 and the second time, $20,000 which apparently did not impress him.”
Kingibe and Abubakar were alleged to have threatened Dauda that he “will only get the president’s nod as the substantive DG only if he could immediately make $2 million available”.
According to HEDA, Dauda said: “I told them it was not going to be possible as the only money available was the $44 million and I did not know how to approach the acting DFA.
“They also told me at the meeting that if I cannot sack the DFA, they would send someone to do it soon.”
HEDA said the allegations show the level of “corrupt practices still looming large in our country’s political scenes, even in a sensitive security related office such as the NIA”.