EFCC clarifies Humanitarian Ministry probe, says banks, others involved

By Samuel Ogunsona

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has said that the probe of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry is not about individuals but about institutions.

EFCC said the probe has been extended to include banks and other groups involved in the fraud.

In a statement signed by Head, Media and Publicity Secretary, Dele Oyewale made available to Irohinoodua also stated that investigations are still ongoing as the commission was yet to clear anyone.

He said “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has 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.

According to the EFCC, 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.

The group 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”

EFCC stressed 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. 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,” he stated.

Mr Oyewale in his statement also gave kudos to the public who has demonstrated their support and involvement in fight against Naira abuse and dollarization of the economy.

According to him, he said members of the public has drawn the attention of the commission to videos of Naira abuse which has raised a lot of awareness.

He said “On the issue of the works of the Commission against Naira abuse, dollarization of the economy and the enforcement of all extant laws relating to them, the EFCC appreciates the avalanche of public awakening, support and involvement demonstrated so far. Increasingly, members of the public are drawing the attention of the Commission to video recording of abuse of the Naira by Nigerians from all walks of life. These gestures amply demonstrate rising consciousness of the public to the sanctity of our national currency and the need for collaborative engagement to sustain the tempo.

“To this end, the Commission will always investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of the Naira. 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”

Mr Oyewale said the commission is investigating Nigeria celebrities involved in Naira abuse scandal.

“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” he stated.

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