In what is believed to be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) move to gather evidence for the prosecution of top shots implicated in the $2.1 billion arms procurement scandal, the anti-graft agency on Saturday raided the Abuja office of immediate-past Vice President Namadi Sambo, seizing the sum of $50,000 found in his safe.
According to reports, Sambo may also be invited for questioning by the agency for receiving N20 million as monthly subvention from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) while he was in office.
Offices of Sambo’s Manyatha Company, in the Central Business District, Abuja, were ransacked by operatives of the EFCC over unusual movement of hefty bags suspected to have been relocated from his home to the office, The Nation reported.
Many occupants of the building, on which is also located a top European High Commission’s Visa Processing Centre, were thrown into confusion following the raid, Vanguard reported.
According to a source who spoke to The Nation, “The ongoing investigation of $2.1 billion arms cash under ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki has been extended to the former VP. The search started on Saturday till the early hours of Monday.
“Apart from getting N20 million monthly from ONSA, we got tip-off on movement of some bags loaded with hard currency.
“All we did was to investigate this clue by searching the ex-VP’s office in a cautious manner and in the full glare of the employees.
“At the appropriate time, we will inform the public of our findings.”
“We are also looking at the circumstances behind the N20 million grant allocated to the ex-VP’s office by the ONSA.
“Ordinarily, a sitting VP has a budget for his office. It is like subjugating your office to a junior public officer if you have to be taking N20 million from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
“We cannot be blind to this important aspect of monthly grant to a VP by the former security adviser. Some former presidential aides are also under investigation.”
A source close to the former VP Sambo said the alleged subvention was a normal payment to the VP’s office, which was also received by former VP Atiku Abubakar.
He said: “The EFCC operatives invaded the Manyatha Company of the former Vice President on Saturday, broke the doors. The operatives did not come with any warrant and when they left, there was no record of inventories.
“What happened was that the ex-VP moved some documents in Ghana-Must-Go bags from his house to the office in the Central Business District. I think they got false alarm that dollars were stuffed in the bags and decided to raid the office on the sixth floor.
“We share the same office complex with the British Visa Section. Do you know that since Saturday, the policemen brought by the EFCC are still in the office?
“The EFCC asked the company to repair its doors before the police could leave the place.”
He added about the subvention that, “It is a statutory subvention for the Office of the Vice President. When ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was VP, he was getting it. The same subvention was given to ex-VP Atiku Abubakar.
“Ex-VP Sambo is ready to defend the subvention when necessary. He did not steal public funds and he did not get campaign funds from ONSA.”