The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has invited the immediate past Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, over an ongoing probe into the thirty-seven billion naira allegedly laundered under her watch through a contractor James okwete.
Sources close to the EFCC say the former minister has been asked to appear before interrogators at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja on wednesday to explain the alleged fraud, a request made in pursuant to Section 38 (I) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004 & Section 21 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.
Sadiya Umar-Farouq earlier denied knowledge of the contractor, James Okwete, who is still being held by the anti-graft agency.
The former minister had tweeted on her X handle on Monday saying Okwete is completely unknown to her.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale declined comments on the former minister’s invitation.
Impeccable sources had confirmed that the EFCC arrested Okwete four days ago in connection with the ongoing probe into the 37 billion naira allegedly laundered by the ministry under Umar-Farouq.
The Sources revealed that Umar-Farouq and some former directors-general of agencies under the ministry might be arrested by the Commission following details of the alleged financial misappropriation so far revealed to interrogators by the contractor.
Investigations by the EFCC allegedly revealed that over thirty- seven billion naira 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.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs currently serves as the parent ministry to eight agencies, including the National Social Investment Office, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internationally Displaced Persons, among others.
Umar-Farouk was the Pioneer Minister of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Ministry. She was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2019.