N32.7bn, $445, 000 recovered from humanitarian affairs ministry so far – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has so far recovered the sum of N32.7 billion and $445, 000 from investigations of past and suspended officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The Commission, in a statement entitled, “Setting the Records Straight on Investigations of Humanitarian Ministry,” issued by its spokesman, MrDele Oyewale, Sunday, said it had “noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“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.”

Oyewale said, “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. 

“It is instructive to stress that the Commission’s investigations are not about individuals.  The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices.  Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated.”

The statement further said managing directors of the indicted banks had made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions and that those found wanting would be prosecuted accordingly. 

Additionally, he said, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud as investigations were ongoing and advancing steadily, enjoining the general public to ignore any claim to the contrary.