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EFCC Releases Sadiya Umar-Farouq On Bail, Asks Ex-minister To Return Today




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Naija News learned that the Commission’s interrogators had on Monday grilled the former minister between 11 am and 11.30 pm and was allowed to return home Monday night, after hours of interrogation over allegations of corruption in the handling of N37.1 billion social intervention funds during her tenure.

She is expected to return on Tuesday for further clarifications on sundry issues that the Commission has flagged in the course of its preliminary investigations.

Farouk who was grilled in the presence of her lawyer, Oladipo Okpeseyi, at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, was asked to write a statement explaining her relationship with a contractor, James Okwete, over the disbursements of the sum of ₦37,170,855,753.44 paid into his bank accounts through agencies domiciled in the ministry.

It was gathered that during the interrogation, which was done in the Operations Room, EFCC headquarters in Abuja, the former minister was shown documents revealing how the monies were moved into several bank accounts belonging to or connected with Okwete.

An EFCC source told The Punch that “Sadiya was grilled by interrogators from 11 am, and she was released on bail around 11.30 pm (Monday). We aren’t detaining her just as we didn’t detain Halima Shehu, because the investigation is still ongoing.

“However, Sadiya has been mandated to report to the commission every day from tomorrow (Tuesday). She was asked to write a statement explaining her relationship with the contractor, Okwete, and how those monies got into his account.

“She was given access to documents showing how the monies were moved from the ministry’s coffers and deposited into the bank accounts of Mr Okwete.”

On Monday, Okwete’s lawyer, Chukwuemeka Eze, confirmed that his client had been released by the EFCC.

Eze noted that Okwete was released on administrative bail last Thursday and had been asked to report to the commission daily.

The ongoing investigation by the EFCC revolves around the staggering sum of N37.1 billion allegedly laundered by officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development then led by Umar-Farouq as the minister.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.