By Ese Awhotu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said it has declared a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayodele Oke and his wife, Folasade, wanted for refusing to appear in court over N13 billion money laundering charges leveled against them.
The anti-graft agency announced this in a statement yesterday by its acting spokesman, Tony Orilade.
The statement said Oke and his wife are wanted in connection with the $43 million, £27,800 and N23.8 m cash recovered by the commission from an apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, in April 2017.
During the tenure of the former DG, the NIA reportedly collected $289,202,382 in cash for special operations from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria in February 2015.
Oke had claimed that the funds were meant for covert intelligence operations, but the Federal Government insisted it was a case of looting.
Consequently, the federal government set up a three-man panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo which indicted Oke and recommended his dismissal.
Criminal charges were subsequently filed against him and his wife in February this year over the cash found at the Ikoyi apartment.
One of the counts read, “That you, Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly converted $160,777,136.85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to your own use which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
Following the indictment, Oke and his wife were said to have travelled overseas for medical treatment in late January this year preluding their arraignment in court.
Justice Chukwujeku Aneke of a Federal High Court Lagos, had on February 7, 2019, issued an arrest warrant against Oke and his wife following an oral application by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.