Officials from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are contemplating the potential issuance of an arrest warrant for the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, according to information gathered by Daily Trust last night,Daily Trust reports.
The decision stems from the former minister’s non-appearance at the EFCC headquarters in Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday. Sources indicate that this development follows her scheduled meeting with EFCC investigators at 10:00 am to address allegations of fraud. Umar-Farouq is under investigation for the alleged laundering of N37,170,855,753.44 during her tenure, a sum purportedly funneled through a contractor named James Okwete.
Daily Trust previously reported that the former minister, who served under the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari, was summoned by the anti-graft agency last week as part of an inquiry into her activities in the ministry.
Officials also disclosed to Daily Trust that other ministry officials who worked with her have been invited on different days to shed light on the ministry’s operations over the last six years.
A source revealed last night that the absence of the former minister is causing delays in the ongoing investigation, suggesting that the commission might resort to arresting her if she fails to surrender by Friday.
“I don’t think our officials can wait endlessly for her (the former minister). Our investigators could be forced to pick her up if she doesn’t turn herself in on or before Friday,” commented an unnamed official to Daily Trust.
Efforts to obtain an official response from EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale were unsuccessful, as calls to his mobile phone went unanswered, and a text message sent to him remained unanswered as of the time of filing this report last night.