Before he left office on May 29, former President Muhammadu Buhari cleared the former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, of the allegations of corruption levelled against him.
Multiple sources revealed that the former president’s action came after the NIA and the EFCC settled the misunderstanding between them, agreeing that in the interest of national security, and that the money had been forfeited to the government, it was okay to work towards terminating the case started six years ago.
In April 2017, EFCC operatives busted an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, and seized $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 kept in bags.
“The money was eventually forfeited to the federal government but we have reapplied for it. After realising that no crime was committed, the [former] president gave his nod that the two agencies (EFCC and NIA) settle their differences,” the source said.
Following the president’s directive, the NIA wrote to the EFCC leadership soliciting the closure of the case because of its negative impact on the intelligence agency.On June 9, Justice Aneke struck out the suit following an application to withdraw the charges against Oke and his wife from the prosecution.
“The wife was just a victim of the intelligence mix. She had no knowledge of what was going on,” said the source.It was also gathered that both agencies confirmed that between what was appropriated to the NIA and what was paid back to the government, nothing was amiss
.But intelligence sources said the unnecessary publicity generated by the seizure of the money impacted negatively on Nigeria’s intelligence capacity.“Nigeria is worse off because in the last six years, the security situation has not improved. If this action had not taken place, maybe we’d be at a different place,” said the source. The whole operation will now have to be restarted.”
Another source who described Oke as, perhaps, the most stellar name Nigeria has produced in the intelligence space, said the EFCC and NIA have agreed to work together in the national interest.He said the matter was quietly struck out in court last week because the two agencies know that there is no gain in publicity.
“Intelligence activities worldwide are not publicised,” he added.