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EFCC Expands Investigation: Directors and Top Officials of Humanitarian Affairs Ministry Under Scrutiny

January 11, 2024

In a bid to get to the bottom of how humongous cash was moved from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to private hands, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, yesterday extended its probe to directors and other key officials of the ministry and its agencies.

The top officials were summoned by the anti-graft agency to meet face to face with the suspended Minister, Dr. Betta Edu, the suspended Coordinator of the National Social Intervention Programme, Halima Shehu and top bank officials, whose vaults were used in custodying the huge cash without reporting to the authorities in keeping with financial reporting protocols.

A competent source told Vanguard that the summoning of the directors was to determine their roles in the ongoing investigation, which has exposed deep collaboration between the banks and officials of the embattled ministry in the movement of cash beyond the threshold permitted by law.

“The top directors spoke of the roles each of them played and did not play in the whole saga and were thereafter made to adopt their statement and were asked to go,” an official said last night.

“They were invited based on the fact that some of those interviewed earlier, mentioned some of them as having played one role or the other and we summoned them based on our determination to get all the facts and arrive at a decision that will be fair to all the parties.

“But as the commission has made abundantly clear, we shall not leave anyone who has corruption on their hands to escape no matter how influential they may be,” the officer vowed.

But the immediate past Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, was not at the EFCC on Wednesday to face the directors but will have a day with them and others on a different date and time.

It was learnt that after appearing before the interrogators for two unbroken days, she had asked for permission to take a day off and to report on a subsequent date, a plea the EFCC granted.

But the current Minister, Betta Edu, who was suspended on Monday, and reported on Tuesday before the EFCC interrogators, also presented herself yesterday to answer to more posers by the team.

Edu has denied any wrongdoing in allegedly causing the movement of the princely sum of N585 million into a private account to be disbursed to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Ogun states although the Accountant General of the Federation does ot think so.

It was based on the disagreement that President Tinubu suspended Edu on Monday morning and she was ordered to turn in herself to the EFCC for questioning, and she complied.

Various sums of money has been bandied as the amount moved or laundered by Sadiya and Halima but none of them has claimed any wrongdoing in the matter.

 

Credit: Vanguard

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