June 23, 2024

37.1Bn #Fraud: Ex-Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Snubs #EFCC Probe Invite

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37.1Bn #Fraud: Ex-Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Snubs #EFCC Probe Invite

37.1Bn #Fraud: Ex-Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Snubs #EFCC Probe Invite

The Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, failed to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an interrogation related to the alleged N37.1bn fraud during her tenure. The former minister, who was invited by the EFCC, kept interrogators waiting for over eight hours without providing official communication regarding her absence.

Our medium gathered that the invitation specified her appearance at the EFCC headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, on January 3, 2024, at 10:00 am, was related to an ongoing investigation into the alleged money laundering activities during her time in office. However, Sadiya Umar-Farouq did not show up at the anti-graft agency’s office for questioning.

An interrogator, speaking anonymously, confirmed that the team closed from work at 6 pm when it became evident that the former minister was not going to honor the invitation. Journalists had gathered at the EFCC headquarters in anticipation of Umar-Farouq’s arrival.

The EFCC had earlier invited the ex-minister to answer questions about the alleged N37.1bn fraud uncovered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. Despite being given the opportunity to defend herself and provide explanations, Umar-Farouq did not appear for the scheduled interview.

Sadiya Umar-Farouq had denied any association with the contractor, James Okwete, who is at the center of the investigation. The former minister took to Twitter to express her lack of knowledge about Okwete, emphasizing that he neither worked for nor represented her in any capacity. She described the linkages and associations to her as “spurious” and indicated her intention to explore legal options to seek redress against the perceived attack on her character.

37.1Bn #Fraud: Ex-Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Snubs #EFCC Probe Invite

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, declined to comment on the matter. The ongoing investigation coincides with the probe of three other former ministers for graft estimated at N150bn. The EFCC had arrested James Okwete in connection with the N37.1bn alleged money laundering, and he has reportedly provided useful statements concerning Umar-Farouq and former director-generals of the ministry.

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