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No One Is Freed Yet From Humanitarian Affairs Ministry Fraud Saga — EFCC

 Olushola Bello

… says it is  Investigating Intricate Web Of Fraudulent Practices

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Sunday stated that it is probing an intricate web of fraudulent practices in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The EFCC said: “At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far,” EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, said in a statement

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

“Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance,” the statement partly read.

The EFCC said its investigation has not been about individuals. “The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions. Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly.

“Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”

On the issue of Naira abuse, dollarisation of the economy and the enforcement of all extant laws relating to them, the EFCC said, “Old videos being exhumed and flying around for the attention of the Commission are noted as the Commission is sensitive to the fact that its Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarization of the economy commenced operations on February 7, 2024. However, going forward, new videos of such infractions will be investigated and prosecuted.”

“At the moment, the Commission is investigating several celebrities involved in Naira abuse. Many of them have made useful statements to the Commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter. The EFCC will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime.”

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