EFCC has terminated the money laundering case filed against Ayo Oke, former director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) over the discovery of $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million in an Ikoyi flat.
On Friday, June 9, Chukwujekwu Aneke, the presiding of the federal high court in Ikoyi, Lagos, struck out the case.
The termination was initiated by the EFCC, with no objection from the defence team led by Kayode Ajulo of the Castle of Law Chambers.
The case was terminated on national security grounds.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly approved the termination of the case before he left office.
WHAT IS IKOYI $43M?
In April 2017, EFCC said it had discovered $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million stashed in a flat on Osborne Road in Ikoyi after a tip-off from a whistle blower.
Following reports that the monies belonged to the NIA, This Newspaper subsequently reported that the agency had collected $289,202,382 in cash for special operations from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in February 2015.
NIA said the funds were part of “covert intelligence operations” but there was public outcry that it was a case of looting.
A three-man panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo 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.
Sources in the intelligence community told This Newspaper that subjecting Oke to open trial might compromise the nation’s security operations.
“Most of the projects financed by NIA from the funds are aimed at gathering intelligence and these things are usually done through cash transactions.
Government might have succumbed to public sentiments to treat it as a crime, but there will be dire consequences for the nation’s security operations,” an NIA operative told This Newspaper