Ikoyi $43m affair ends as EFCC withdraws court case on ‘national security grounds’

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Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, of the federal high court, Ikoyi Lagos, on June 9, struck out the money laundering case filed against Ayo Oke, the immediate past Director-general of the National Intelligence Agency NIA.

This followed a termination notice filed before the judge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, who had earlier Oke to court over the discovery of $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million in a flat at Ikoyi, Lagos.

The anti graft agency told the court National Security informed its decision to stop the prosecution of the dismissed former DG.

Kayode Ajulo, lead counsel of Oke’s defence team concurred with the EFCC’s motion.

Former president Muhammadu Buhari reportedly approved the termination of the case before he left office.

IKOYI $43M

In April 2017, the EFCC informed the nation it had found $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million stashed in a flat on Osborne Road in Ikoyi after a tip-off from a whistle blower.

Investigations later traced ownership of the said cash to the NIA. In its defence, the Intelligence agency said the funds were part of the $289,202,382 collected for “special covert intelligence operations” from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in February 2015.

Public outcry on this compelled the federal government to set up a three-man panel headed by former vice president Yemi Osinbajo to look into the matter. The panel in its report, indicted Oke and recommended his dismissal, which was effected in October same year.

On January 20, 2019, Osinbajo said criminal allegations would be filed against Oke and Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, following a directive from Buhari.

But influential Intelligence community scholars including Emeka Anyaoku and the respected Professor Bolaji Akinyemi expressed concern over the move to dock Oke openly which they feared compromise the nation’s security operations.