The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully recovered over N30 billion in its ongoing investigation into alleged financial misconduct within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The probe, focused on former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq and her successor Betta Edu, has uncovered a complex web of financial improprieties.
Sources within the EFCC revealed that the recovery process involved placing a lien on bank accounts associated with Umar-Farouq and contractor James Okwete. Both individuals are currently undergoing thorough questioning by EFCC investigators. The recovered sum represents a substantial portion of the N37.1 billion initially linked to the former minister.
In a parallel development, Betta Edu, recently suspended by President Bola Tinubu, is under investigation for an alleged N17 billion fraud. The EFCC has successfully recovered over N500 million associated with this case. Additionally, the suspended Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme, Halima Shehu, is being questioned regarding a separate alleged N44 billion fraud.
The EFCC, in a statement, confirmed the recovery of a total of N70,556,658,370.5 between October 2023 and January 19, 2024. This period saw the commission receiving 3,325 petitions, accepting 2,657, and securing the conviction of 747 individuals for various financial crimes, primarily related to money laundering and cybercrimes.
Notable recoveries include N6,826,993,798.78, $868,284.61, £147,672.10, and €1,899.90 by the Lagos Zonal Command, while the EFCC headquarters alone recovered N49,607,391,330.44.
The EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, highlighted that a significant portion of the convictions involved cybercrime offences. The commission continues to deepen its investigations into money laundering cases involving high-profile public officials, with the total amount involved reaching around N130.1 billion as of January 31, 2024.
The EFCC remains steadfast in its commitment to rooting out corruption and financial misconduct, ensuring accountability and transparency in public administration.
Source: The Punch
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