How EFCC Recovered N30bn From humanitarian ministry’s looted funds

Emmanuel Saviour

In a development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully recovered N30 billion from the alleged N37.1 billion laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under the tenure of former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

The anti-graft agency, through diligent investigation, placed liens on the bank accounts of Umar-Farouq and the implicated contractor, James Okwete, leading to the recovery.

An anonymous source within the EFCC revealed, “The commission has now recovered over N30 billion from the laundered N37.1 billion linked to former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq. We were able to recover the money after placing liens on the bank accounts of the former minister and the contractor, Mr. Okwete, who was linked to the fraud under probe.”

The agency’s crackdown extended to Betta Edu, the successor to Umar-Farouk, resulting in the revelation of an additional N500 million associated with an alleged scam. Edu, who was recently suspended by President Bola Tinubu, is currently under investigation for her role in the reported N17 billion fraud.

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Furthermore, the suspended Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme, Halima Shehu, is also facing intense scrutiny over an alleged N44 billion fraud. The EFCC, leaving no stone unturned, is actively questioning individuals involved in these financial improprieties.

Interestingly, the EFCC disclosed a broader success, noting the recovery of a total of N70.56 billion between October 2023 and January 19, 2024. The breakdown includes N60.97 billion, $10.52 million, £150,002.10, and €4,119.90.

During this period, the agency received 3,325 petitions, accepted 2,657, and secured the conviction of 747 individuals for various financial crimes.

The EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, emphasized the commission’s intensified probe into money laundering cases involving high-profile public officials, with the total amount involved reaching approximately N130.1 billion as of January 31, 2024.

The commitment to tackling corruption remains a top priority for the EFCC, as evidenced by their unwavering efforts and significant achievements in recovering misappropriated funds.

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