NIA funds: EFCC quizzes Kingibe

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babagana Kingibe.
Related News
EXCLUSIVE: How Buhari flouted recommendations of own panel in appointing new NIA DG
National security at risk, NIA directors write House of Reps
EFCC assault on spy chief’s home highlights deepening crisis of a hedging presidency
2019: Why I can’t contest against Buhari – Babagana Kingibe
N13 billion Ikoyi money: EFCC takes over NIA’s bank accounts
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have spent the course of two days grilling a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe.

The former diplomat was quizzed on Wednesday and Thursday last week by a special team of the anti-graft body, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

A security official, who declined to be named as he is not permitted to talk to the press, said the politician was interrogated at the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Mr. Kingibe headed a presidential panel that reviewed the operations of Nigeria’s prime intelligence outfit, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

President Muhammadu Buhari had in November last year empaneled the four-member committee in the wake of scandals rocking the intelligence agency.

Mr. Kingibe was invited by the EFCC to explain his roles in alleged financial scandals during the assignment.

Dauda Mohammed, who acted as the DG of the agency during the time of the assignment had alleged that Mr. Kingibe used his position to extort money from the agency.

He told a House of Representatives committee probing alleged $44 million said to be missing from the NIA’s vault that he was put under pressure by Mr. Kingibe to make agency funds available to him.

The House committee had directed the EFCC to investigate the allegations made against Mr. Kingibe and his panel.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kingibe appeared before the investigators, who grilled him on the wide-ranging allegations before they allowed him go home to return the next day.

Mr. Kingibe reportedly denied benefiting from the NIA or interfering with its activities, as alleged by Mr. Mohammed.

On his return Thursday, the former NIA official was confronted with Mr. Mohammed who was asked to put his allegations before the man he accused.

Mr. Mohammed reportedly reeled out the allegations against Mr. Kingibe, who denied most of them.

“He however admitted collecting N1.5 million weekly from the NIA in lieu of accommodation, aside feeding provided by the agency” the source said.

Mr. Kingibe also reportedly consented to Mr. Dauda’s accusation of him travelling to Bauchi with NIA vehicles and security guard.

The former minister, however, vehemently denied Mr. Mohammed’s chilling charge of giving an alleged girlfriend of Mr. Kingibe monies in foreign currencies, at the instance of the latter.

A source at the EFCC, who confirmed the investigation is ongoing, said the operatives were dealing with a “unique and difficult task” because most of the allegations and counter allegations were not evidence-backed.

“By the operational nature of the NIA, they don’t usually document such monetary transactions and this is a huge problem for our men,” the source explained.

When contacted, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was not aware of the investigation.