The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested and detained the National Co-ordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, Halima Shehu, over the ongoing probe into the N37,170,855,753.44 allegedly laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, under former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
The gathered that EFCC operatives stormed NSIPA’s office at the Federal Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday at about 9 am, and drove Shehu to the EFCC headquarters, Jani, Abuja.
Our correspondent learnt that as of the time of filling this report on Tuesday night, she was still being detained and interrogated.
Impeccable senior officers of the anti-graft agency, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, revealed that Shehu was indicted in connection with the alleged 37.1bn fraud as the former National Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme under the Ministry.
“Halima Shehu is currently in our (EFCC) custody in connection with the ongoing N37.1bn fraud that took place under the former Humanitarian Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
“Halima was the National Coordinator in charge of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme under the Ministry during Buhari’s tenure, and she’s been queried over some of the money that left the ministry’s coffers through her.
“The former Minister, Sadiya is also expected at the office tomorrow (Wednesday) for questioning over the N37.1bn money laundering case.”
The PUNCH reports that Shehu was suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the EFCC invited the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Umar-Farouk, to appear before investigators today (Wednesday) over an ongoing probe into the N37,170,855,753.44 allegedly laundered during her tenure in office, through a contractor, James Okwete.
The former minister was asked to appear before investigators at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabbi, Abuja today to give an account of the alleged monumental fraud that took place under her watch, a document exclusively seen by our correspondent on Saturday revealed.
The document partly read: “The commission is investigating a case of money laundering involving the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development during your time as Minister.
“In view of the above, you are requested to kindly report for an interview with the undersigned. Scheduled as follows: Wednesday 3rd, January, 2024. 10:00 am. This request is made pursuant to section 38 (I) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 & section 21 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”