by Azeez Adeniyi
The House of Representatives has said it would continue with its investigation into N13bn cash recovered from an apartment in Osborne Tower, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had alleged that the apartment belongs to the wife of suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.
The lower chamber on Saturday insisted that nothing will stop it from investigating, even as a former minister of external affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, said the probe could jeopardise national security.
The Senate however said it would not take any step.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi said Akinyemi’s advice was right.
Abdullahi said, “I don’t think the advice was for the Senate. It was the House of Representatives that indicated interest in the matter. But the man is on point. Not just him, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka) Anyaoku also lent his voice to what Akinyemi said.
“He was talking from experience and any elder statesman who has spoken very well on the overall interest of the nation should be listened to.
“I want to believe that the House of Representatives will definitely take into consideration the point he has made.
“He is saying that we should be guided and I want to call on anybody involved to be guided. I really support what he said.”
Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele, however said the House was not investigating the “covert or security operations” of the NIA, but the ownership of the recovered funds.
He said, “Much as we respect Prof. Akinyemi’s views on the need not to expose certain national security issues, the point has to be made that nobody is talking about investigating the covert operations of the agency.
“What we are looking at is the ownership of the money. It is mired in controversies. Even the presidency does not know. It was for this reason that it had to set up a committee to look into it.”
Oladele explained that ordinarily, the presidency should have been duly briefed on the movement of the funds.
“We are neither looking at nor going to investigate the covert operations of the NIA. We know the security implications, just like Prof. Akinyemi has advised.
“We have gone past that stage and the investigation has to go on.”