Constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) says the federal government would be jeopardising its whistleblowing policy if it accepts the National Intelligence Agency’s claim over the monies recently recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Falana said this on Channel's Television Sunrise Daily monitored by Concise News.
Following the discovery of $43 million, N22 million and £27,000 in a residential apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, the NIA reportedly claimed ownership of the stashed funds.
Falana also advised the Rivers state government, whose governor Nyesom Wike claimed ownership of the funds, to file an affidavit to that effect at the federal high court.
The human rights activist also wondered why the funds belonging to the NIA, were not kept in "a safe in the well-fortified" office of the national security adviser.
He asked why the NIA had not briefed anti-graft agencies about the funds since the whistleblowing policy was launched.
"The NIA should not be allowed to play on the collective intelligence of the Nigerian people.
"If the Federal Government believes the cock and bull story of the NIA, the danger is that similar hidden funds are going to be officially protected, thereby making a mockery of the whistle-blowing policy of the government.
He pointed that Nigerians wouldn't want to believe that an agency of the federal government kept about $50 million in an apartment without adequate security personnel to guard the money.
"Why was the fund not kept in a safe in the well-fortified ONSA? When was the National Intelligence Agency exempted from the Treasury Single Account (TSA)?
The legal luminary also queried that "if the DG of NIA has just gone to brief President Buhari that the fund was collected from former President Goodluck Jonathan for a special project, why did the briefing not take place before now?
"Since the NIA is in charge of external security why was it necessary to execute projects in the country? How much of such fund is being kept in private homes by the NIA and other security agencies?
"Since the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government commenced why has the NIA not deemed it fit to take the anti-graft agencies into confidence with respect to the fund being kept in Ikoyi for the so-called covert operations?
He concluded that since the Federal High Court has granted the application filed by the EFCC for an interim forfeiture of the fund, it is no longer an internal affair of the Buhari administration.
"Let the National Intelligence Agency approach the court with convert proof to claim the money," he said .topics from