JUST IN: EFCC detains suspended NSIPA boss Halima Shehu over alleged N37bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly arrested and detained the suspended National Co-ordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu.


According to reports, her arrest is said to be in connection with an alleged money laundering case of N37,170,855,753.44 discovered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, under former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.


Recall that President Bola Tinubu had approved the immediate suspension of Shehu from the agency tasked with overseeing social welfare programs, over the money laundering scandal which was traced to a contractor identified as James Okwete.


Shehu according to sources in the EFCC, was indicted in the alleged fraud in her capacity as the National Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in the Ministry.


It was gathered that operatives of the anti-graft agency stormed the office of the NSIPA’s located at Federal Secretariat in Abuja where they effected the arrest of Shehu who was whisked to the EFCC headquarters for interrogation.


Meanwhile, the former former Humanitarian Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, is expected to face EFCC interrogators today over the same N37.1bn money laundering fraud that was discovered in the Ministry when she was in charge there.


Ripples Nigeria had on Saturday, reported that the former minister was asked to appear before interrogators at the EFCC headquarters, Jabbi, Abuja on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, to explain the alleged fraud, an exclusive document seen by our correspondent on Saturday revealed.


The document containing the invitation had read:


“The commission is investigating a case of money laundering involving the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development during your time as minister.


“In view of the above, you are requested to kindly report for an interview with the undersigned. Scheduled as follows: Wednesday, 3rd of January, 2024. Time: 10am.


“This request is made pursuant to Section 38 (I) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 & Section 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”


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