THE last is yet to be heard about the allegation of fraud rocking the Ministry of Humanitarian and Social Inclusion as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigating the issue have uncovered a fresh fraud of N17bn linked to the ministry.

Investigations by the Sunday Tribune confirmed on Saturday in Abuja that the EFCC officials, who were originally working on the alleged N585 million fraud, which led to the suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, were shocked to uncover some previously unreported cases totalling N17bn.CONTINUE READING

It was learnt that the investigators are closing in on the alleged fraud and have also interrogated the suspended minister on the new findings.

A source in the know said: “The commission was surprised to uncover some previously unreported cases of fraud linked to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The amount for now stands at N17billion. You will recall that what was reportedly linked to the suspended minister was N585 million, now the figure has risen and the investigators are closing in on the matter.”

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The source further said that investigations are continuing on the matters involving the former minister in the ministry during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, and the suspended Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Hajia Halima Shehu.

It was learnt that Shehu had been cooperating well with investigators and that N30 billion of the N37bn traced to Umar-Farouk has been recovered.

A source said that Shehu told the investigators that she only took pre-emptive steps to prevent the funds from being siphoned by certain forces. The development is coming on the heels of some spirited efforts made by some forces to frustrate investigation into the matter by pushing for the alleged offenders to be given a soft landing.

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A source in the know, however, said that President Bola Tinubu had assured his inner caucus that he would not interfere with the EFCC probe on the matter and that the issue of clemency or what a source called “second chance” may not materialise.

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