The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is in a fresh mess.
The office, already enmeshed in the $15billion arms deal, is being fingered in the alleged disappearance of $40million(N13.6billion) approved by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan ostensibly for the negotiation of freedom for the Chibok girls.
Part of the supposed deal was for Boko Haram to concede to a demand for ceasefire,The Nation gathered on good authority yesterday.
The under-the-table negotiation was however botched because the Boko Haram leadership was not interested in the deal.
The whereabouts of the cash is now unknown, prompting a probe by the Federal Government.
One report suggested that the money was handed over to the president of a neighbouring country, while another said it was in the ‘custody’ of a former presidential aide.
The cash was allegedly drawn from the ONSA by the former top presidential aide.
A source familiar with the development said:”The government is probing how about $40million was allegedly spent by the administration of ex-President Jonathan to ‘negotiate’ with Boko Haram. The cash was allegedly withdrawn from the ONSA account by a former presidential aide.
“The said aide alleged that the cash was routed through the Presidents of a neighbouring country, but preliminary tracking showed that the money might have been diverted.
“Many people have been linked with the negotiation, but the government, through relevant anti-graft agencies, is trying to ascertain the whereabouts of the funds. We have started inviting those connected with the deal for interaction.
“Even the ex-President in January 2016 said in an interview with a news website, Quartz, in Geneva, Switzerland that his administration did not set up any negotiation team.
“I did not negotiate with Boko Haram. The government never set up a team,” Quartz quoted him as saying.
The Boko Haram leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, responding in one of his video messages to claims of negotiation with government, had said: “We have not made ceasefire with anyone. We did not negotiate with anyone. It’s a lie. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not.”
Conitnuing the source said:”So, there could not have been any sum spent on negotiation with Boko Haram, if there was no deal with the sect. You can see that the ongoing investigation of $15billion arms deal in the ONSA has many dimensions.
“The main objective of the government is to recover the $40million.”
Meanwhile, the BringBackOurGirls group yesterday confirmed that Serah Luka, who was rescued on Thursday by the Nigerian military, was an SSS 1 student of Government Secondary School, Chibok.
It however said the girl was abducted by Boko Haram in Madagali in Adamawa State and not in Chibok.