Suspended NSIPA coordinator, Halima Shehu, in EFCC custody

Suspended National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Hajia Halima Shehu,is in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Shehu, who was said to have been purportedly suspended by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday, though there is no official statement to that effect, was said to have been taken to EFCC headquarters at Jabi, Abuja, by operatives of the anti-graft commission Tuesday evening.

A reliable source at the commission disclosed that operatives had stormed her office at Maitama, Abuja, to conduct a search after which she was asked to follow them to the EFCC headquarters where she was subsequently detained for questioning.

The source, who preferred to be anonymous, informed that the detention of the NSIPA boss might not be unconnected with the ongoing investigation of the immediate past Minister of Humanitarian and Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiyya Umar Farouq.

Umar Farouq, who served in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, is being investigated by the anti-corruption commission over an alleged money laundering to the time of N37,170,855,753.44.

The former minister, who was the pioneer minister in the ministry, created by the Buhari administration, was alleged to have laundered the money through a contractor, one James Okwete.

The EFCC source informed that Okwete was also in EFCC custody and had made useful statements on the former minister and some Directors-General of some of the agencies under the Humanitarian Ministry.

The source added that the N37.1billion was allegedly transferred from the coffers of the Federal Government to different bank accounts belonging to Okwete.

Umar Farouq has, however, denied any link with the said contractor, who she stated she never worked with in any way.

The former minister stated in a tweet on her X handle (formerly Twitter) that Okwete neither worked for her nor represented her in any way whatsoever.

She described the contractor’s linkage to her person as “spurious”, stating that she was ready to defend her stewardship whenever she was called upon to do so.

It is learnt that Umar Farouq has been invited by EFCC to appear before it tomorrow (Wednesday).

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