EFCC Probes Collusion Between Banks and Government in Abacha Loot Misappropriation

EFCC Investigates Bank and Government Official Collusion in Misappropriation of Recovered Abacha Funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched an investigation into allegations that several Nigerian banks colluded with government officials to misappropriate funds recovered from the late dictator Sani Abacha. These funds, amounting to $322 million, were repatriated from Switzerland following a December 2017 Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at supporting the Nigerian government’s Social Investment Programme initiated under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The recovered assets were designated for the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which provides N5,000 monthly to the most vulnerable segments of the population. However, the EFCC’s recent statement, conveyed by spokesperson Dele Oyewale, highlights not only potential mismanagement of these funds but also other financial discrepancies involving COVID-19 relief and a World Bank-assisted loan.

The EFCC’s probe extends beyond individual misconduct, focusing on systemic corruption and complex fraudulent activities within the ministry managing these funds. This includes scrutinizing the roles of banks and their executives, who, according to the EFCC, have provided critical information during the investigation.

Significantly, the commission has recovered N32.7 billion and $445,000 from former and currently suspended officials of the humanitarian ministry. The inquiry has also led to the scrutiny of Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the former minister, and her successor, Beta Edu, both of whom have faced suspension under President Bola Tinubu’s administration for alleged misuse of office.

As this investigation continues to unfold, the EFCC emphasizes that its efforts are not targeted at individuals but rather at eradicating the entrenched network of graft within the system. The public is urged to rely solely on official updates, dismissing any unofficial claims regarding the status of the ongoing probe.

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