14 February 2018

Nigeria: U.S.$44 Million NIA Fund - Reps Grill Kingibe Secretly

A House of Representatives panel yesterday questioned the chairman of the Presidential Review Panel on the investigation of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Babagana Kingibe behind closed-doors.

The committee on public safety and national intelligence chaired by Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara) is investigating the circumstances that led to the alleged disappearance of $44million from NIA vault and the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the agency's substantive Director General.

The panel had last week summoned Kingibe and other members of his panel following his failure to honour previous invitations.

Kingibe, who appeared alongside some former heads of the agency, spent about two hours with the lawmakers.

A mild drama played out before the panel resolved into closed-door when Kingibe asked that journalists should be excused from the venue of the event. He refused to take his seat until his request was met.

It took the intervention of the committee chairman, who discussed with Kingibe outside the venue before he took his seat. After the introduction from both sides, journalists were asked to vacate the venue. It was gathered that Kingibe provided all necessary information that the lawmakers demanded regarding the $44m, which was said to have disappeared from the NIA's vault.

Jaji had last week told journalists that the panel's preliminary findings showed that the money was only moved out of NIA to another location until all issues were resolved.

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