February 04, 2024

EFCC summons 20 directors, officials of Humanitarian Ministry for probe

Former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Betta Edu, and Halima Shehu have been named and implicated in the case [PN]. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued summons to 20 senior directors and officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for a thorough investigation.The move comes following a list of recommendations presented by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to the EFCC earlier this week. According to emerging reports the ongoing probe is an expansion of the investigation into the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, aiming to uncover financial improprieties dating back to the ministry's inception in 2019.According to a credible source, the EFCC is interrogating director-generals and civil servants, with approximately 20 individuals already questioned, and more expected to undergo scrutiny. Former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Betta Edu, and Halima Shehu have been named and implicated in the case.


The collaboration between the EFCC and the ICPC is anticipated to shed light on additional financial misconduct and irregularities perpetrated by civil servants during the tenure of the Buhari administration. Notably, the ICPC had previously intercepted and recovered a staggering ₦50 billion from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs between July and August 2023.The funds, earmarked for embezzlement, were intercepted by the ICPC and subsequently deposited into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The attempt to transfer the funds into private bank accounts was thwarted by the ICPC under its former Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, preventing a substantial loss. Furthermore, the ICPC's report outlines the roles played by several officials in the attempted diversion of the ₦50 billion, specifically from the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA). This report is expected to be instrumental in the EFCC's ongoing investigation into suspended humanitarian affairs minister Betta Edu, ex-minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, and Ms. Halima Shehu, the suspended National Coordinator and CEO of NSIPA.Edu is under investigation for allegedly authorizing the transfer of ₦585 million into the private account of a ministry accountant, Bridget Oniyelu. Sadiya Umar-Farouq faces allegations of ₦37 billion money laundering, while Halima Shehu is being probed for purportedly moving ₦44 billion NSIP funds into private and corporate accounts without presidential approval.
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