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N44bn fraud: EFCC freezes N30bn moved from NSIPA accounts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has tracked and frozen N30 billion of the N44 billion moved from the accounts of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, NSIPA.

The development comes barely 24 hours after Halima Shehu, the embattled National Coordinator of NSIPA, was detained and arrested by EFCC after her suspension by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

A source who spoke anonymously to The Nation revealed on Wednesday that the multiple accounts in which some NSIPA officials moved the anti-graft agency have been frozen as part of an ongoing probe.

“After hours of interrogation and profiling of many accounts, the EFCC confirmed that unauthorised N44 billion was suspiciously moved out of NSIPA’s account to some private and corporate accounts”.

On Wednesday, EFCC grilled Shehu over the alleged fraud.

The anti-graft commission also arrested NSIPA’s immediate past Director of Finance and Accounts, DFA, Bwai Adamu Hamza.

Hamza retired from the agency in December.

Shehu and Hamza were subjected to interrogation yesterday by a special team.

To this end, after tracking the cash movement, the EFCC recovered and froze the N30 billion traced to multiple accounts.

As of Tuesday, the agency had intercepted and seized N17 billion.

Within 24 hours, the commission traced and froze an additional N13 billion in some accounts, raising the cash seized to N30 billion.

It was learnt that the N44 billion was suspiciously moved from NSIPA’s accounts into private and corporate accounts linked to those serving as fronts.

This comes as Former Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, whom Halima Shehu worked under, shunned the EFCC invitation to appear for interrogation.

The EFCC invited Umar-Farouq over the alleged laundering of N37, 170,855,753.44 during her tenure through a contractor, James Okwete.

The former minister denied the allegations.

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