Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had finally obliged to brief the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence on the recovery of the $43 million recovered from the Osborne Towers, Ikoyi Lagos state.
Sani Jaji, chairman, House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, disclosed this while giving update on the outcome of closed door meeting held on Friday at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
“In continuation the mandate given the Committee by the House, we just met with the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in relation to the $43 million discovered in an apartment in Ikoyi and the meeting was very fruitful.
“We have been meeting with relevant stakeholders concerned in this matter before now, having met with Mr. Magu, it is our resolve to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion because more revelations are coming out.
“It should be understandable that we cannot come out with some of these facts now, since the investigation is not concluded yet, but it is our mandate to find out the owner of that apartment and the ownership of the money, notwithstanding that the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) has laid claim to both.
“Notwithstanding the sensitivity of the assignment, the EFCC has been able to give us some important information in relation to the money. We were told what led to the operation, how it was carried out. We were even obliged with pre and post-operation information that would definitely be of immense boost to the investigation. I think we are heading somewhere different from where we are today,” Jaji said.
Going forward, the lawmaker explained that the Committee has resolved to invite Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the suspended NIA Director General, Wole Oke, to clarify some contentious issues on the recovered fund.
“What has emerged now is that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele would have to appear the Committee and that is going to be next (this) week. His submission will be very important to this investigation.
“Since the agency claimed to own the money, it is pertinent for the Committee to be in a vantage position to be able to proceed from informed point based on the submissions of the previous invited stakeholders.
“Definitely, after the invitation of the CBN Governor, the Committee will then decide when to invite the suspended DG and it is afterwards that we can now come up with a comprehensive report which will be available to all Nigerians, after the House might have considered and adopted it.
“We must however have at the back of our minds that, the essence of the exercise is the protection of our institutions and should not be allowed to public ridicule,” he said.
Jaji further alleged that the committee is under pressure via threat messages and physical contacts, saying: “There have been attempts on me as the Chairman of the committee and members of the committee on what direction the investigation should take and the possible outcome of the report.
“There has been a lot of frustration but this has not in any way affected us because we remain committed to our cause. Though there is no monetary inducement but these pressures are in form of text messages and physical contacts about what we should do, what we should not do, that we should dwell on this and not on that.
“They say this or that agency has a reputation that should not be put on the line, and so we should not go beyond certain extent but we tell them that our determination is to safeguard the name and integrity of our institutions.
“But we tell them, we are aware that is it is not fair to castigate an entire agency from the wrongdoing of an agency and that is why we want to protect our institutions by getting to the roots of these infractions and expose the individuals responsible.
“Someone of about 70 years of age confronted me at a time telling me that he knows more than me on issues like this. But before he could continue I cut him short and asked, how old he was, he told me and I said, can you live for another 70 years? He said no, I then asked him to allow us do the right thing and do our own bit in the drive of nation building for the next generation.
“It is a fact that there is no way one will embark on an assignment like this without sacrifice, and in this case, our dedication will determine our sacrifice. No amount of frustration will stop us as a committee or as individuals,” Jaji maintained.