The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the immediate prosecution of the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
HURIWA who made this call-in response to the startling revelation of an alleged N37 billion fraud in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.
The right group in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko condemned these actions as they significantly undermine humanitarian efforts aimed at assisting vulnerable members of society.
Onwubiko stated, “Corruption in any form, especially within government ministries tasked with providing essential services to the less privileged, is a gross violation of public trust. We call on the relevant authorities to expedite the legal process and ensure that those responsible face the consequences of their actions.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently exposed that contractor James Okwete laundered funds traced to 38 different bank accounts connected with Umar-Farouk, including transfers to Bureau De Change Operators, cash withdrawals, luxury car purchases, and high-end property acquisition.
HURIWA demanded justice and accountability for Umar-Farouk’s alleged role in the financial misappropriation.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently exposed the staggering sum of N37,170,855,753.44 laundered within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, with funds traced to 38 different bank accounts connected to contractor James Okwete.
According to the EFCC, Okwete, purportedly linked to the former minister, diverted significant amounts of the money, including transfers to Bureau De Change Operators, cash withdrawals, luxury car purchases, and the acquisition of high-end properties.”.
The group emphasized the need for a rigorous investigation and fair trial to determine guilt or innocence among all involved parties.
HURIWA expressed concern over recurring instances of financial mismanagement within government ministries tasked with addressing critical societal needs.
The allegations against Umar-Farouk follow previous revelations by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), which uncovered N2.67 billion meant for the ministry’s school feeding program in private bank accounts.
The organization criticized EFCC’s handling of social media posts related to Diezani Allison-Madueke on money laundering charges, quoting her only to delete it shortly afterward from Instagram.
The group questioned EFCC’s credibility and transparency in its communication strategy while emphasizing consistency and responsibility when disseminating information publicly.
Furthermore, HURIWA urged increased transparency and accountability in EFCC’s communication practices fostering trust towards combating financial crimes while reiterating its demand for swift prosecution against corruption within government ministries not being tolerated.