Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, arrived at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters for an ongoing probe into the alleged N37,170,855,753.44 money laundering during her tenure through contractor James Okwete.
At about 10:20 am, Umar-Farouq tweeted about her presence at the EFCC headquarters, stating, "I have arrived at the headquarters...to honor the invitation...to offer clarifications."
Citing health challenges, she had sought an extension earlier, leading to concerns about her failure to appear before interrogators.
The EFCC, investigating a case of money laundering in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs during Umar-Farouq's tenure, had set a deadline for her appearance.
Spokesperson Dele Oyewale stated that she sent a legal representative, citing health challenges, but the commission mandated her to appear promptly.
Reports indicated Umar-Farouq kept interrogators waiting for over eight hours on Wednesday without official communication, raising the possibility of arrest if she doesn't appear voluntarily.
The ongoing investigation revealed that contractor James Okwete, implicated in the alleged money laundering, provided useful statements concerning Umar-Farouq and former directors-general of the ministry.
Sources suggested Umar-Farouq and former directors-general might face arrest based on financial misappropriation details revealed by Okwete.
The funds, amounting to N37.1bn, were transferred from the Federal Government to 38 bank accounts linked to Okwete, who cooperated with investigators.
Okwete used the funds for Bureau De Change transactions, cash withdrawals, luxury cars, and property purchases. He secured government contracts through 53 companies.
In 2020, the ICPC uncovered N2.67bn meant for the ministry's school feeding program in private accounts, along with 18 buildings, 12 business premises, and 25 plots of land.