Fraud Investigation into Humanitarian Ministry, EFCC Recovers N32.7bn, $447,000


Fraud Investigation into Humanitarian Ministry, EFCC Recovers N32.7bn, $447,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), weekend, said it had recovered N32 billion and $447,000 in the ongoing investigation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.


EFCC was investigating suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, following the alleged approval of N650 million payment into a private account.


President Bola Tinubu had ordered an investigation into the allegations and subsequently suspended Edu from office.


She was later invited for questioning by EFCC, detained and subsequently released on bail.


But she had also denied any wrongdoing.


The agency was also investigating Edu’s predecessor in office, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, over an alleged N37.1 billion fraud, as well as National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIPA), an agency under the humanitarian affairs ministry, Ms Halima Shehu, over alleged financial misappropriation.


Shehu was arrested and questioned by EFCC in connection with the movement of N44 billion from the NSIPA account to some suspicious private and corporate accounts within the last four days in December 2023.


A statement at the weekend by the anti-graft agency said investigation into the alleged fraud had “yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far”.


It said, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.


“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the humanitarian ministry were invited by the commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far.”


EFCC stated that the discreet investigations by the agency opened other fraudulent dealings involving “Covid-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the ministry by the federal government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.


“Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.


“It is instructive to stress that the commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices.”


The statement signed by the spokesman of the commission, Dele Oyewale, said, “Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.


“Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly. Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”


On the issue of the works of the commission against naira abuse, dollarisation of the economy, and enforcement of extant laws relating to them, EFCC said it appreciated the avalanche of public awakening, support and involvement demonstrated so far.


It stated, “Increasingly, members of the public are drawing the attention of the commission to video recording of abuse of the naira by Nigerians from all walks of life.


“These gestures amply demonstrate rising consciousness of the public to the sanctity of our national currency and the need for collaborative engagement to sustain the tempo.


“To this end, the commission will always investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of the naira.


“Old videos being exhumed and flying around for the attention of the commission are noted as the commission is sensitive to the fact that its Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarisation of the economy commenced operations on February 7, 2024.


“However, going forward, new videos of such infractions will be investigated and prosecuted.”


The agency said at the moment, the commission was investigating several celebrities involved in naira abuse.


EFCC stated, “Many of them have made useful statements to the commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter.


“The EFCC will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this

Dangote Refinery to set up terminal in the Caribbean for export of petroleum products 

Dangote Refinery is planning to set up a terminal...

Why African startups need to launch in multiple countries – Tizeti CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi has...

Canal+ intends to maintain MultiChoice’s brands after the takeover.

According to a report, Maxime Saada, Chair and CEO...