N187bn fraud: EFCC arrests humanitarian ministry’s contractor, probes four Buhari ministers

Aliya Moses
3 Min Read

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a contractor, James Okwete, in connection with the ongoing probe into the N37bn allegedly laundered by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development under former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

A top EFCC official, who confided in our correspondent on Sunday, said the contractor had made useful statements concerning Umar-Farouk and former directors-general of the ministry.

The development coincides with the probe of three other ministers, who served under former President Muhammadu Buhari, for graft estimated at N150bn.

It is not only Umar-Farouk we are investigating. Three other former ministers are also under probe. They were allegedly involved in graft to the tune of N150bn,’’ a credible source in the EFCC confided in our correspondent on Sunday.

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Sources said Umar-Farouk and some former agencies’ directors-general under the ministry might be arrested by the anti-graft commission following the details of the financial misappropriation so far revealed to investigators by the contractor.

The ex-minister could not be reached for comments on Sunday. Also, when our correspondent contacted her former media aide, Nneka Ikem, she did not pick her phone calls neither did she respond to an SMS sent to her.

Investigation revealed that the N37.1bn was transferred from the Federal Government’s coffers and sent to 38 different bank accounts domiciled in five legacy commercial banks belonging to or connected with Okwete.

Impeccable sources confirmed to Newsmen on Sunday that Okwete, who is being held at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, had been cooperating with investigators.

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According to the EFCC officials, the contractor was arrested four days ago.

A source said, “The contractor, Mr Okwete, who was used in laundering the money had been arrested by the commission. He is currently detained in our custody and has been giving investigators more details that have indicted the former Minister, Sadiya and some DGs under the ministry, and they may be brought in anytime soon too.”

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