Fraud: Former Humanitarian minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq presents self to EFCC for investigation

FORMER Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar-Farouq has presented herself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation.

She was at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday, January 8.

The EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, confirmed this to The ICIR shortly after she arrived at the commission.

“She arrived this morning,” Oyewale disclosed in a text message.

Umar-Farouq also confirmed she would provide information needed by the EFCC for the investigations.

“I have, at my behest, arrived at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to honour the invitation by the anti-graft agency to offer clarifications in respect of some issues that the commission is investigating,” she tweeted on Monday.

Umar-Farouq has been the subject of investigations by the EFCC following allegations that she laundered N37.1 billion through a contractor, James Okwete.

According to a report, at least 53 companies were traced to the contractor, who was said to have used 47 of the firms for Federal Government contracts amounting to N27.4 billion.

The former minister denied any relationship with the contractor, describing the allegations as malicious attacks against her.

“There have been a number of reports linking me to a purported investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the activities of one James Okwete, someone completely unknown to me.

“James Okwete neither worked for nor represented me in any way whatsoever. The linkages and associations to my person are spurious,” she claimed in a statement released in December 2023.

She was asked to report to the EFCC office on Wednesday, January 3, to provide details on the fraud allegations against her.

She had requested that the commission avail her more time to honour the invitation, citing ill-health as the reason.






     

     

    Umar-Farouq was the pioneer Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

    She served the government till its term ended on May 29, 2023.

    Interestingly, her successor, Betta Edu has also been accused of fraud. She was suspended by President Bola Tinubu.

    Prior to this, the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu, was also suspended on fraud-related allegations.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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