N37billion Fraud: Anti-Graft Agency, EFCC Seizes Passports Of Betta Edu, Sadiya Farouk To Stop Them From Fleeing


 

The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized the passports of the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, and her predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, to prevent the duo from fleeing the country as investigations continued into alleged fraud perpetrated by them.

SaharaReporters on Tuesday reported that the CEOs of Zenith, Providus, and Jaiz banks were also grilled by the EFCC over their involvement in the alleged N37billion fraudulent transactions linked to Edu, and former minister, Umar-Farouk.

Sources in the anti-graft agency had confirmed this to SaharaReporters on Tuesday, adding that the three banks’ executives were summoned after the commission discovered that most of the transactions on the alleged fraud perpetrated by the ministers were carried out through their banks.

Meanwhile, the ex-minister (Umar-Farouk’s) passport was also seized as part of her bail conditions before she was subsequently released late Monday night.

 

A top source at the EFCC said the passports of Edu and the former minister were seized to deter them from fleeing the country while the investigation subsists.

 

“The commission has seized the passports of the two ministers, Sadiya Shehu and Betta Edu. We have also seized Mrs Halima Shehu’s passport pending the conclusion of investigations. The commission does not want to risk having any of them leave the country while they still have questions to answer,” the source said.

 

The lawyer to the former minister, Dipo Okpeseyi, SAN, could not be reached for comment on his client’s ordeal as he did not respond to phone calls. He also did not respond to a message seeking his comment. Also, efforts to get Edu did not succeed

 

Apart from Edu, Ms Halima Shehu, the National Coordinator and CEO of the National Social Investment Programme, an agency under the humanitarian ministry, had been similarly suspended indefinitely over alleged financial misappropriation.

 

Shehu had been arrested and questioned by the EFCC in connection with the movement of N44bn from the NSIPA account to some suspicious private and corporate accounts within the last four days in December 2023.

 

The huge sum was reportedly moved without presidential approval.

 

As part of her bail conditions, Shehu has been reporting to the EFCC office every day to assist investigators.

 

Before her appointment, Shehu worked as the National Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 



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