Buhari’s finds spy chief $43m stashed in Lagos flat

Anti-corruption officers have suspended Nigeria’s foreign spy chief Ayo Oke  after finding more than $43m (£34m) in a flat in the main city, Lagos, the president’s office has said.

Mr Oke is yet to comment on how he came by such a substantial amount of money.

However, unnamed intelligence officials told local media that the money was kept in the flat for covert operations.

Anti-corruption officials have uncovered bundles of cash in Nigeria this year.

Mr Buhari took office in 2015 with a pledge to root out corruption in government.

David Babachir Lawal, one of Buhari’s close aid has always been pending an investigation into contracts awarded to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the north-east. The region has been hit by an insurgency by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

An independent panel, led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will investigate both cases, Mr Buhari’s office added.

As well as US notes worth $43.4m, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found nearly £27,800 and some 23m naira ($75,000) at the empty flat in Lagos’s affluent Ikoyi suburb.

Cash recovered from a property in Lagos following a raid
Image by BBC Africa

 

The panel will report within 14 days on who authorized the release of the money to the The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) led by Mr Oke and whether any laws or security procedures had been breached, Mr Buhari’s office added.

Following a tip-off that a woman, looking “haggard” and wearing “dirty clothes”, was taking bags in and out of the seventh-floor flat, the flat was raided.

The “neatly arranged” cash was stashed in “sealed wrappers” in wardrobes and cabinets in the four-bedroom flat, the EFCC added.