EFCC mulls arrest as ex-minister Shuns invitation

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Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are considering the possibility of obtaining an arrest warrant against the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Daily Trust learnt last night.

The development, it was gathered from impeccable sources, followed the former minister’s absence at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency located at Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday.

Umar-Farouq, who was billed to face the crack detectives of the EFCC around 10:00am over alleged fraud, was being probed over the sum of N37,170,855,753.44 that was allegedly laundered under her watch through a contractor, James Okwete.

Daily Trust had reported that the former minister, who served under the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari, was invited last week by the anti-graft agency following a probe that was launched into her activities in the ministry.

The officials had also told Daily Trust that some other officials who worked with her had also been invited for different days in order to provide an insight into how the affairs of the ministry were run in the last six years.

Speaking to our correspondent last night, one of the sources said absence of the former minister was delaying the ongoing investigation into the activities of the ministry, adding that the commission might be forced to arrest her.

“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,” one of the officials, who didn’t want his name mentioned told Daily Trust.

Efforts to get official reaction from the spokesman of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, proved abortive as several calls to his mobile phone rang unanswered. A text message sent to him was yet to be replied as at when filing this report last night.