‘I Will Defend My Actions’ – Buhari’s Ex-Minister Umar Reacts To N37bn Alleged Fraud - LagosTrend

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

‘I Will Defend My Actions’ – Buhari’s Ex-Minister Umar Reacts To N37bn Alleged Fraud


Nigeria’s former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, has denied knowledge of any shady dealings amounting to N37bn when she headed the ministry.

Umar-Farouk who was appointed as the pioneer minister of the Humanitarian Ministry by ex-president Muhammadu Buhari said this on Tuesday on her official twitter account.

The former minister issued the message titled, ‘The Attack On My Person’, in response to an alleged N37.1bn probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Umar was reportedly linked to a contractor, Mr James Okwete, who was used in laundering the N37bn and had been arrested by the commission.

She said, “There have been a number of reports linking me to a purported investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the activities of one James Okwete, someone completely unknown to me. James Okwete neither worked for, nor represented me in any way whatsoever. The linkages and associations to my person are spurious.

While I resist the urge to engage in any media trial whatsoever, I have, however, contacted my legal team to explore possible options to seek redress on the malicious attack on my person.

I remain proud to have served my country as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with every sense of responsibility and would defend my actions, stewardship and programmes during my tenure whenever I am called upon to do so.”

Umar took over office in 2019 and undertook several projects like the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the school feeding programme.

She had been accused of spending N2.67bn on school feeding during during Covid-19.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had said that the N2.67bn paid to some federal colleges for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown ended up in private bank accounts.

Umar, however, denied the allegation, saying that the school feeding in question is different from the home-grown school feeding programme, which is one of the humanitarian ministry’s social investment programmes.

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