EFCC Uncovers More Fraudulent Dealings In Humanitarian Ministry


By Anne Osemekeh, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says investigations into the allegations of fraud involving officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Dele Oyewale, made the disclosure on Sunday, following the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations regarding the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Oyewale disclosed that at the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations led to the recovery of the funds.

He said that discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan and recovered Abacha loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate. Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

The Commission however stressed that its investigations are not about individuals. Rather, it is investigating “a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions. Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly”, the statement said.

The Commission further added that it has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. “Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary”.

On the issue of the works of the Commission against naira abuse, dollarization of the economy and the enforcement of all extant laws relating to them, the EFCC noted that increasingly, members of the public are drawing the attention of the Commission to video recording of abuse of the naira by Nigerians from all walks of life. “These gestures amply demonstrate rising consciousness of the public to the sanctity of our national currency and the need for collaborative engagement to sustain the tempo”, the Commission said.

Oyewale affirmed that the Commission will always investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of the naia, adding that it had taken note of old videos being exhumed and flying around for the attention of the Commission, which is sensitive to the fact that its Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarization of the economy commenced operations on February 7, 2024. “However, going forward, new videos of such infractions will be investigated and prosecuted”, he said.

The anti-graft agency’s spokesman said further that many of the celebrities being investigated for their involvement in the abuse of the naira have made useful statements to the Commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter.

“The EFCC will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime”, the statement said.

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