Controversy is brewing between the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and the DG of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) over the ownership of the recovered N13 billion hidden in a building in Ikoyi.

The agency said the monies were for some covert operations it was undertaking.

The NIA, which is Nigeria’s foreign intelligence service, explained that the money, which was found on the seventh floor of the building, was approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan for covert operations and security projects covering a period of years.

The money was said to have been released in bits during the tenure of a former NIA Director-General.

A source said that the cash was approved before the advent of the Treasury Single Account.

A NIA source explained that when EFCC operatives stormed the Ikoyi property on Wednesday, they were informed that the said apartment was a safe house of the NIA from which discreet operations were carried out.
 
The EFCC boss, however, rejected all entreaties from the NIA and entered the building, breaking the fireproof safes and taking the money.

But, speaking with journalists on Friday, Wike said the cash was that of Rivers state.

He described the claim of the NIA as “bladderdash”.

He alleged that the monies were part of funds Chibuike Amaechi, minister of transportation, diverted while he was governor of the state.

Wike said the $43m was part of the proceeds from the sale of a gas turbine by the immediate past administration, adding that the gas turbine was initially built by the Peter Odili administration.

As such, the Rivers State governor gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to return the money to the state government or be ready to face legal action.