The EFCC summoned former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq over an alleged N37.17 billion laundering case during her tenure. She was requested to appear at the EFCC headquarters on January 3, 2024. Umar-Farouq denied knowledge of James Okwete, a contractor linked to the case, who is in EFCC custody. She also expressed intent to defend her actions.

The agency had earlier arrested Okwete, who allegedly provided details implicating Umar-Farouq and former agency directors. This inquiry aligns with investigations into three other ex-ministers for a combined alleged graft of N150 billion.

EFCC sources revealed the N37.1 billion was moved from government funds to 38 bank accounts linked to Okwete. He reportedly cooperated, disclosing information implicating the ex-minister and agency heads. The ministry oversees eight agencies, and Umar-Farouq served as its pioneer minister.

Documents indicated Okwete’s alleged transactions involving luxury items, property acquisitions, and securing government contracts through multiple companies. The ICPC had earlier uncovered irregularities, including N2.67 billion intended for a school feeding program found in private accounts. Other discrepancies in government accounts were reported during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

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