Members of a Nigerian anti-corruption agency have raided the office of former vice president Namadi Sambo as part of an ongoing investigation into arms procurement during the previous administration. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said documents relating to properties owned by Sambo outside Nigeria and $50,000 (£34,752) were retrieved during the raid, according to This Day newspaper.
The probe into arms procurement was ordered by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who alleged millions of dollars worth of funds have been stolen by corrupted officials. Sambo, who served as vice president under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan between 2010 and 2015, is the most senior official to have been investigated by the EFCC since the probe began last year.
The investigation has led to the discovery that $2.1bn intended for use in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the country's north-east had gone missing. Meanwhile, information minister Lai Mohammed alleged that Nigerian officials and state employees have stolen $6.8bn from public funds during the previous administration between 2006 and 2013.
In recent weeks, high-profile officials including former security adviser Sambo Dasuki, have been arrested in connection to the investigation.
Among other things, Dasuki and former director of finance, Shuaibu Salisu, were charged with criminal breach of trust for having allegedly used N10bn from the account of the National Security Adviser to fund delegates of former leader Goodluck Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2014 electoral campaign. Dasuki pleaded not guilty.
The EFCC raid at Sambo's office in the federal capital of Abuja was carried out after suspicions emerged that the former vice president was implicated in the misuse of money to fund PDP's political campaign.
Buhari vowed he would eradicate corruption after taking office in May 2015, following the presidential election in which he defeated Jonathan.
The leader has sought the help of several countries, including the UK, the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to locate and repatriate embezzled Nigerian funds reinvested outside the African nation.
In an exclusive report by IBTimes UK, members of Security in Africa and Potent Communications warned that Nigerian stolen funds repatriated to the African nation risk being embezzled again, making corruption a vicious circle difficult to break.