Former Minister Farooq did not refuse invitation – EFCC

Former Minister Farooq did not refuse invitation – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq did not refuse the invitation, as reported in some media outlets.

EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale said this in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Oyewale explained that the former minister had sent a letter stating that he was unable to accept the invitation as he was unwell due to health issues.

“It is true that she did not show up, but I sent her a letter explaining that she had health problems and begging for more time.

“She did not decline the EFCC invitation but actually gave reasons why she could not meet.”

“Her lawyer also appeared before the committee and explained to the anti-graft authorities why she could not come or respond to the invitation,” the EFCC spokesperson added.

Mr Oyewale said he expected the committee to consider her petition and that she would honor the invitation without delay.

He said there may be no reason to arrest her because she did what was necessary through her lawyer.

“The committee's position is that she should turn herself in without delay.”

He also explained that the branded N37.1 billion may not be the correct figure for the funds being diverted by the ministry.

“As far as branded numbers, I can't definitively confirm those numbers because it's an ongoing thing. We're still tracking all the transactions here and there, but we're not going beyond that. There is a possibility.”

“We cannot release numbers until the tracking is complete, but the numbers could be much higher than what is currently being advertised,” he said.

The spokesperson also said that the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Program Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu, has been released.

The chef, who was arrested on Tuesday, was released and directed to report at the EFCC office for questioning pending the conclusion of the investigation.

She was arrested in connection with an ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Humanity.

“She was the national coordinator in charge of the ministry’s conditional cash transfer program during Buhari’s tenure and is being questioned about some of the funds that remained in the ministry’s coffers through her.”


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