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Sadiya Umar Farouq
Fmr Minister

"She couldn’t honour the invitation because she was indisposed due to health challenges." EFCC Spokesman.

NIGERIA'S anti-corruption body; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has revealed reasons why the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq failed to turn up at the Commission's office following its invitation.

Spokesman of the commission, Mr. Dele Oyewale in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, disclosed that the former Minister wrote to the anti-graft, explaining that she is not disposed for now to appear before the commission.

Oyewale further revealed that the former Minister wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), apologising for failing to appear before the commission to answer questions on the alleged laundering of N37.1 billion during her tenure.

"She couldn’t honour the invitation because she was indisposed due to health challenges." The EFCC Spokesman stated.

”It is true that she didn’t show up but she sent a letter pleading for more time explaining that she had some health challenges.

”She didn’t shun EFCC invitation. She actually gave reasons why she couldn’t meet up

”Her lawyer was also at the commission to brief the anti-graft agency of why she couldn’t come or honour the invitation,” Mr. Dele said.

According to Dele Oyewale, "the EFCC had considered her plea, and expected that she would honour the invitation without further delay." 

"There might not be any reason for her arrest as she had done the needful through her lawyer." He said.

”The position of the Commission is that she should turn herself in without further delay.”

Speaking on the amount allegedly involved, Oyewale stated that "the N37.1 billion being branded might not be a correct figure of the money misappropriated by the ministry

”On the figure that is being branded, I cannot categorically confirm the figure because it is an ongoing thing, We are still tracing all the transactions here and there, it may be more than that.

”We can’t publish a figure now until we finish the tracking and it may be more than what is being brandished now,” he said.

The spokesman also said that the suspended National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, (NSIPA) Halima Shehu, has been released.

Shehu who was arrested on Tuesday, has been released and directed to be coming to the EFCC office for interrogation until the end of investigation.

She was arrested in connection with the ongoing probe of the humanitarian affairs ministry.

“She was the National Coordinator in charge of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme under the Ministry during Buhari’s tenure, and she has been queried over some of the money that left the ministry’s coffers through her.’’

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