EFCC drills more Civil servants linked to scandals under Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation 

The investigation into the sleaze in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation deepened on Wednesday with the EFCC investigators quizzing several top civil servants linked to the scandals.

The ICPC recovered N50bn from the humanitarian affairs ministry.

The money, which was about to be embezzled was recovered by the ICPC between July and August 2023 and paid into the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The fund which was meant for vulnerable citizens during the tenure of former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq was blocked during attempts to transfer it into private bank accounts and recovered by the ICPC under its former Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye.

“President Tinubu, upon the appointment of the now suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, ordered the Accountant-General of the Federation to refund the money to the ministry as part of the Infrastructure Support Fund for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.’’

“The refunded sum is part of the N44bn allegedly laundered in the National Social Investment Programme Agency and the N585m Edu authorised for disbursement.’’

“During the naira scarcity between late 2022 and 2023, the ICPC under Prof Owasanoye blocked and recovered the sum of N50bn from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

“The first sum that was blocked and recovered was N32bn, but when the commission probed further, another N18bn was blocked and recovered from the ministry. The ICPC discovered that the money was meant for the vulnerable and the poor people in the country which the ministry under the former minister, Umar-Farouq, could not distribute due to the scarcity of currency during the naira redesign period.

“The money was paid into the coffers of the government between July and August 2023. Some officials in the ministry attempted to disburse the funds into private accounts during the time the former minister was no longer active in office and there was no new minister last year. The ICPC immediately blocked the money after discovering the suspicious and fraudulent manner in which it was to be distributed, and it was recovered.

“After President Tinubu announced the Infrastructure Support Fund for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal, the Federal Government paid the money into the coffers of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry under Betta Edu, being the ministry in charge poverty alleviation projects.” A source said.

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