By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Following reports of alleged disappearance of $44 million from the vaults of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, the House of Representatives on resumption of plenary for 2018, yesterday, resolved to probe the newly appointed Director-General, Mr. Rufai Abubakar. The House also resolved to investigate Abubakar’s nationality, citizenship and competence which came to question after his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari. The planned probe was sequel to the consideration and adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance titled “Need to investigate the alleged carting away of $44 million from NIA and the issues surrounding the appointment of its new DG”, sponsored by Hon. Diri Duonye (Bayelsa State).
It will be recalled that reports of the alleged missing money flooded the media at the weekend even as criticisms had continued to trail Abubakar’s appointment. While moving the motion, Duonye said that the disappearance of the $44 million two days after the assumption of office of the new DG had brought to mind the Ikoyigate scandal which engulfed the sacked former DG of the agency.He also contended that the manner of the appointment of the new NIA boss has painted a poor picture of national security and diminished the reputation of the agency in the eyes of the Nigerian public and the international community. He said: “Notes that the President and Commander-in-Chief recently approved the appointment of a new Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, NIA in the person of Rufai Abubakar.
“Concerned that the identity, nationality, citizenship and even competence of the new DG has become a subject of public speculation and controversy. Disturbed that the NIA has again been visited by another scandal merely two days after assumption of office by the new DG where $44 million cash in the agency’s vaults in Abuja was allegedly carted away.
“Aware that the nation is yet to recover from the shock of the Ikoyigate Safe House scandal involving $43.4 million, N23.2 million and 27,800 pounds, the report of which is yet to be made public. Further disturbed that the issues of controversy over the appointment and the cash scandals paints a poor picture of our national security and diminishes the reputation of the agency in the eyes of the Nigerian public and the international community.”In adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on National Security and Intelligence to investigate the matter and report back to the House within two week