A combined team of policemen, officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission and some officials of the Department of State Services, on Wednesday, raided the 1 Alimi Road residence of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo in Kaduna.
An eyewitness told one of our correspondents that the operatives, who arrived at the scene in a bus and Toyota Hilux van around 3pm, cordoned off the road leading to the residence and barred motorists and pedestrians while the two-hour search lasted.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that when the officials came into the residence, they threatened to shoot anybody that failed to cooperate with them.
He said, “They pointed their guns at everyone, threatening to shoot anyone who dared to cause trouble. They came at about 3pm and left around 5pm.”
It was learnt that an artisan, wearing an overall, accompanied the security officials into the building.
The artisan was said to have entered into the ceiling looking for documents and cash.
The PUNCH was informed that this was the fifth time the property would be searched in three months.
The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that she was not aware of the search and thus could not comment.
“I am just hearing about the raid from you. I am not aware of it and I have no information,” she said.
However, Sambo’s media aide, Mallam Umar Sani, said the ICPC officials came with a court order to search the place.
He stated that it was not the first time the house was being raided by the anti-graft agency.
Sani added, “This is not the first time they are searching the house. They have searched the house on numerous occasions. Today (Wednesday), they came with a court order and gave a copy of the court order to the CSO (Chief Security Officer) in the house.
“After they concluded the search, they wrote at the back page of the court order that they gave to the CSO that they didn’t find anything and they left. So, we are not surprised because it has now become a routine.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had carried out a similar search on one of Sambo’s properties in Abuja in 2016.
The former Vice-President had been allegedly linked to some cash disbursements during the build-up to the 2015 general elections, an accusation he had denied.
Vital documents were said to have been recovered from his property located at the Central Business District, Abuja, but he was neither arrested nor charged.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, told news agency on Wednesday that the EFCC had nothing to do with the fresh raid on the former Vice-President’s Kaduna property.
He, however, did not say if Sambo was still under investigation.
The EFCC had, on February 1, 2016, raided an office complex in Abuja belonging to the former Vice-President.
The PUNCH had, on February 2, 2016, reported that the EFCC operatives raided the office complex, which is not far from the National Defence College along Herbert Macaulay Way, Abuja.
According to the report, Sambo, who said to be on the list of those to be probed for arms purchase, was also being investigated for his role as the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation in the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.