by Idris Ibrahim,
The anti-graft agency, EFCC, on Wednesday announced that it was inviting the former head of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayodele Oke, for questioning.
Mr. Oke was sacked as NIA chief by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, about six months after he was first suspended. He was sacked alongside Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was involved in a fraud case.
The former intelligence chief was suspended after the EFCC found about $43.45 million in a house in Ikoyi. The commission later said the house where the money was found was rented in the name of Mr. Oke’s wife, Folashade; and eventually secured a court order to ensure the money was forfeited to the federal government.
Mr. Oke’s NIA had admitted owning the money and said the presidency through the National Security Adviser was well briefed of its intelligence operations.
However, a panel led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recommended Mr. Oke’s dismissal after looking into the circumstances surrounding the cash haul.
The panel submitted its report on August 23, but Mr. Buhari did not act on it until Monday.
Before their appointments were ultimately terminated on Monday, Messrs. Lawal and Oke had been placed on suspension since April 19.
Mr. Buhari, in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Monday, also asked anti-corruption agencies to proceed with their investigation of the matter.
Perhaps following the president’s directives on Monday, the EFCC on Wednesday asked Mr. Oke to appear before it.
“In furtherance of its investigative activities to unravel the circumstances surrounding the $43.45 million cash recovered by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Lagos sometime in April 2017, the Commission has invited former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayodele Oke and his wife, Folashade Oke,” Wilson Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Mrs. Oke had refused to honour previous invitations by the Commission which resumed its investigation into the matter, following the Federal Government’s decision to relieve Mr. Oke of his position as DG.
“Beside the couple, other suspects are equally being invited to determine their culpability or otherwise in the humongous cash, in foreign currencies and naira notes, stashed in a residential building at Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos,” Mr. Uwujaren said.