Alleged N37bn Fraud: Ex-Humanitarian Affairs Minister Denies Involvement

Ex-Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Hadjia Sadiya Umar Farouq has denied
knowing any contractor named Mr. James Okwete or dealing with him, therefore, any report linking her with him in whatever guise is bogus and ill-intentioned.

Mr. James Okwete is reportedly being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged financial improprieties to the tune of N37 billion.

Farouq’s reaction was contained in a statement issued by her Media Assistant, Alexander Udeh on Tuesday.

The statement read thus:

“My attention has been drawn to publications in some online media outlets trying to link my name with the activities of one Mr. James Okwete who is reportedly being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged financial improprieties.

“Ordinarily I would have ignored such publications, which at best could be seen and regarded as speculative but doing so will give energy to the adventure of those who take delight in mudslinging, especially against those who are, or have been privileged to hold public offices.

“In this age of digital media when unverified materials are easily dumped and recalled from the cyberspace, it would be inappropriate to ignore such a malicious linkage.

“I wish to state categorically that I neither know the said Mr. Okwete nor have ever had him represent me in any way whatsoever. Therefore, linking me with him in whatever guise is bogus and ill-intentioned.

“I remain proud to have served my country as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with every sense of responsibility and would defend my actions, stewardship, and programmes during my tenure whenever I am called upon to do so.

“While I resist the urge to engage in any media banter whatsoever on this issue since my name was never expressly mentioned by the agency reportedly investigating Mr. Okwete, I am nonetheless prepared to seek redress legally and clear my name if there is any such defamatory reference to my person from any source”, it said

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