EFCC arrests ex-minister over alleged N3.6bn fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Charles Ugwuh, over an alleged conspiracy and fraud to the tune of N3.6 billion.

EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja on Monday that Ugwuh was arrested alongside Chief Geoffrey Ekenma on January 11, in New Owerri, Imo.

Ugwuh, an engineer, industrialist and a former President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, served as Minister of Commerce and Industry from July 2007 to October 2008.

Oyewale said that the arrest followed a petition to the commission from a new generation bank on the alleged fraud perpetrated through a company, Ebony Agro Industries Ltd., linked to the ex-minister.

“Investigations revealed that Ugwuh, a former President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Ekenma, Managing Director, Ebony Agro Industries Ltd., allegedly obtained a loan facility from the bank for the purchase and production of polished rice.

“However, the suspects, according to the petitioner, failed to meet up his obligations to the bank and all efforts to get him to repay the loan facility proved abortive,” he said.

Oyewale said that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.