Former Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq Detained by EFCC Over Alleged N37.1 Billion Fraud

The former minister arrived at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja in honour of an earlier invitation over the pending N37.1 billion fraud case on Monday morning.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, for questioning regarding allegations of corruption in handling N37.1 billion social intervention funds during her tenure.

Mrs Umar-Farouq, who arrived at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja on Monday morning, had earlier confirmed her presence via a tweet, stating that she was there to “offer clarifications in respect of some issues that the commission is investigating.”

The ongoing investigation by the EFCC centers around the alleged laundering of N37.1 billion by officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs during Mrs Umar-Farouk’s leadership. The ministry’s suspended National Coordinator, Halima Shehu, had previously been questioned in connection with the case.

The EFCC’s probe is linked to corruption allegations in the school feeding component of the social intervention programs overseen by the ministry. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had previously revealed the diversion of N2.67 billion meant for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Mrs Umar-Farouk’s successor, Betta Edu, is also embroiled in a fresh scandal involving N585.2 million. Ms Edu directed the transfer of funds from the National Social Investment office account into a civil servant’s private bank account, raising concerns about the disbursement of funds meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun states.

The federal government has taken note of these developments, with the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stating that an investigation is underway to address the unfolding scandal.

The EFCC’s detention of Mrs Umar-Farouq marks a significant step in unraveling the alleged financial mismanagement within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs during her tenure.

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