‘$50m: EFCC probes high-profile tenants of Osborne Towers’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have started probing some high-profile tenants in the apartment where it discovered over $50m in Ikoyi, Lagos, The Nation reports.

It was gathered that four of the tenants have been quizzed and a petition is pending against the fifth.

A source said, “As at the time of the EFCC’s operation on Wednesday, about five high-profile tenants, who are either being investigated or on the radar of the commission, were suspected to be living or having apartments there.

[Read Also: $50M: WIKE MUST PRESENT EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY – SAGAY]

“Some of the tenants have been quizzed and others are undergoing investigation. Only one of them has an outstanding petition still being probed by EFCC detectives.”

“Among them are two former governors, a director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and two prominent lawyers.

“So, when the whistle-blower raised the red flag, the EFCC was quick to move in without knowing that the 7B apartment is a safe house of the NIA.

“There was excitement in the Lagos Zonal office of the EFCC about a breakthrough. This was why the operation started between 10am and 11am,” the source said.

A government official reportedly explained what transpired between the EFCC and the National Intelligence Agency.

“It is unfortunate that this is the second time this type of incident is happening between the two agencies,” he said.

“There was a case of some cash released for contingency assignment by presidential fiat through the NIA account. The release was based on the directive of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

“When the EFCC began the investigation of some Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), it traced the movement of the cash to NIA account. Instead of seeking explanation from the Director-General of NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, the EFCC wrote directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN) to demand the details of the transactions on the said account.

“In fact, the documents obtained from CBN included other sensitive operations and overhead. The NIA took exception to it. When President Muhammadu Buhari intervened, he saw all the records that neither NIA DG nor any staff benefited from the said funds.

“NIA actually transferred the whole money as directed by the ex-President to another dedicated account. Subsequent EFCC investigation did not indict NIA. As for Wednesday’s operation, it was true that DG of NIA rushed to the Acting chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who promised to intervene. The NIA boss only asked EFCC to retrieve the cash without making a public show of it in the media.

“At the time the NIA got in touch with EFCC, the operation was already midway and strategy wise, the EFCC chairman felt it would convey a different impression because a crowd had already gathered in and around the towers.”

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