The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken swift action in the ongoing probe into the alleged N37.1 billion fraud within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development. Halima Shehu, the National Co-ordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), was arrested and detained by EFCC operatives who stormed the NSIPA’s office at the Federal Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory.
Sources within the anti-graft agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Shehu, formerly the National Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme under the Ministry, is under investigation for her alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds during the tenure of former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
“Shehu is currently in our custody in connection with the ongoing N37.1 billion fraud that occurred under the former Humanitarian Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk,” stated the EFCC officials. The former Minister is also expected to face questioning regarding the money laundering case.
President Bola Tinubu has suspended Halima Shehu from office, and further investigations are underway. The EFCC had earlier invited Sadiya Umar-Farouk to appear for questioning today (Wednesday) over the alleged fraud during her tenure. The former Minister is required to provide an account of the suspected fraudulent activities, particularly the laundering of N37,170,855,753.44 through a contractor, James Okwete.
The invitation to Umar-Farouk stated, “The commission is investigating a case of money laundering involving the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development during your time as Minister.” The former Minister is scheduled for an interview at the EFCC Headquarters in Jabbi, Abuja, today at 10:00 am, in accordance with relevant legal provisions.