EFCC Retrieves N30bn from Ministry's Alleged Embezzlement

EFCC Retrieves N30bn from Ministry’s Alleged Embezzlement

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully recovered more than N30 billion from the alleged embezzlement of N37,170,855,753.44 in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs during the tenure of the former minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

Sources within the anti-graft agency revealed that the recovery followed the placement of a lien on the bank accounts of Umar-Farouq and the contractor, James Okwete, who are currently under investigation by the EFCC.

Additionally, over N500 million has been uncovered in connection with the alleged fraud linked to Umar-Farouk’s successor, Betta Edu, who was recently suspended by President Bola Tinubu.

An EFCC source stated, “The commission has now recovered over N30 billion from the laundered N37.1 billion that was linked to former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq. We were able to recover the money after we placed liens on the bank accounts of the former minister and the contractor, Mr Okwete, who was linked to the fraud under probe. Both the minister and the contractor are still being grilled by our investigators daily.”

A senior EFCC investigator added, “We have uncovered another N17 billion money laundering from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and for the alleged fraud linked to the suspended minister, Betta Edu, we have so far recovered over N500 million. Edu is still answering questions about the fraud.”

The EFCC has been actively pursuing investigations into corruption cases involving high-profile public officials, including former governors and ministers implicated in fraud. As of January 31, 2024, the total amount involved in these money laundering cases rose to around N130.1 billion.

In another development, the EFCC announced the recovery of a total of N70,556,658,370.5 between October 2023 and January 19, 2024. This recovery was outlined in an EFCC document titled ‘Operations and Recoveries,’ revealing significant amounts retrieved by various EFCC commands and zones across the country.

The agency, which accepted 2,657 out of 3,325 petitions received during this period, secured the conviction of 747 individuals for financial crimes, ranging from money laundering to internet fraud. The data breakdown showed recoveries from different commands and zones, highlighting the EFCC’s ongoing efforts to combat corruption and recover stolen funds.

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