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EFCC clarifies ‘unclear’ publication on Beta Edu, others

EFCC clarifies ‘unclear’ publication on Beta Edu, others

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Sunday said it had uncovered more fraud in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

It said it had so far recovered a combined sum of N32.7 billion and $445,000 from investigations into the alleged fraud involving past and suspended officials of the ministry.

Edu’s threat

The suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Beta Edu, had threatened to sue the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for allegedly defaming her personality with the report that N30 billion was retrieved from her.

BBC’s report was derived from EFCC’s unclear publication which appeared to suggest that recoveries were made from Edu.

READ ALSO: Judge sends Emefiele to EFCC custody over abuse of office

The March edition of the commission’s monthly e-magazine titled ‘EFCC Alert’, the chairman of the commission, Ola Olukoyede, said N30 billion was recovered from the probe and 50 bank accounts being investigated.

EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, in a statement, clarified that the investigations that yielded recovery of N30 billion was not about individuals, but about the intricate web of fraudulent practices in the system.

He said the recovered sum was part of the fraudulent dealings involving COVID-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot that was released to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development.

He said the fund was released by the federal government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

Edu, others not cleared yet

Oyewale, who further clarified that the officials of Humanitarian ministry, including Edu, who were invited by the commission as part of the probe have not been cleared by the anti-graft agency.

“The EFCC has noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

READ ALSO: EFCC takes over Binance case, to arraign executives Thursday, gets arrest warrant

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far.

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving COVID-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered 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. It is instructive to stress that the commission’s investigations are not about individuals.

“The EFCC 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.

“Additionally, the EFCC 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,” Oyewale said.

READ ALSO: Judge sends Emefiele to EFCC custody over abuse of office

He added that those found wanting would be prosecuted accordingly.

Earlier in the year, President Bola Tinubu had ordered the suspension and investigation of Edu and Halima Shehu, Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Authority (NSIPA) over alleged financial malfeasance.

Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has also been under investigation.

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