Anyaoku Backs Akinyemi, Says FG Should Stop Leaks on NIA


Obinna Chima

Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has aligned himself with the position of Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, warning that the activities of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) should never be made a public affair.
Anyaoku, said this in a statement he released on Tuesday.

He explained that apart from his intervention that led to the signing of the Abuja Accord by all the presidential candidates in the run-up to the 2015 national election, he hardly issues public statements on developments within the country.
“But because of its gravity, I feel compelled to publicly express my full support for the statement by Akinyemi on the need to stop leaking secrets on NIA which I have just read in our media while on a visit to London.

“It is common practice by responsible governments throughout the world for only the head of government and his/her very few appropriate ministers to be involved in the operations of the nation’s external secret service. While not sparing every effort to check corruption, to expand the scope of such involvement would be doing huge damage to the security of the state,” he said.

Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, had recently warned that the report of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo panel investigating the discovery of N13.3 billion in an apartment in Ikoyi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should remain classified in order not to compromise national security.

Akinyemi had said when news broke that some millions of dollars had been found hidden in a flat in Ikoyi, he was quite indifferent, as it had become a “recurring decimal”.
“I was not even bothered when nobody initially stepped forward to claim it. But when Ayo Oke stepped forward to claim it on the part of the NIA, alarm bells started to ring in my ears. It is one of the sacred traditions of the external intelligence trade to admit nothing and to deny nothing,” he said.

Akinyemi, who was also the deputy chairman of the 2014 National Conference had noted that a saving grace emerged when the president set up the Osinbajo panel to untangle the web over the millions of dollars.
“But the president inadvertently made a mistake. He did not appoint anyone with a history of external intelligence experience unto the panel. External intelligence operations do not belong in the same security genre as domestic security forces such as the DSS, EFCC and the police.”