Nigeria’s foreign spy chief Ayo Oke has been suspended after anti-corruption officers found more than $43m (£34m) in a flat in the main city, Lagos, the president’s office has said.
Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into how the spy agency headed by Mr Oke came into possession of the money, his office added.
Mr Oke has not yet commented.
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.Apart from 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.
The Oke-led National Intelligence Agency (NIA), which is in charge of foreign intelligence, had laid claim to the money, Mr Buhari’s office said.A three-member panel, led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will investigate who authorised the release of the money to the NIA and whether or not there was any breach of the law or security procedures, Mr Buhari’s office added.
Mr Oke would remain suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, it said.
Last week, the EFCC said it carried out the raid after a tip-off that a woman, looking “haggard” and wearing “dirty clothes”, was taking bags in and out of the seventh-floor flat.
The “neatly arranged” cash was stashed in “sealed wrappers” in wardrobes and cabinets in the four-bedroom flat, the EFCC added.
In March, it said it had found “crispy” banknotes worth $155,000 at the airport in northern Kaduna city.