EFCC Reopens 13 Ex-governors’ Fraud Cases, $2.2bn Arms Procurement Fund Misdirection

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reignited investigations into money laundering allegations against 13 ex-governors and several former ministers, with the total sum implicated surpassing N853.8bn.

Currently, the EFCC is delving into an alleged misappropriation of N81.6 billion from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Furthermore, an extra $2.2 billion is suspected to have been illicitly diverted through money laundering, fund misdirection, and misappropriation. This sum was reportedly siphoned off by ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; the late media tycoon, Raymond Dokpesi; ex-governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; and ex-Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, among others. The EFCC asserts that this money was earmarked for arms procurement to bolster the fight against terrorism.

The implicated individuals were apprehended after a presidential committee, which scrutinized arms procurement under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, indicted them. The committee revealed that approximately $2.2bn was misdirected for purposes unrelated to arms procurement.

The roster of individuals under investigation includes two ex-governors of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi and Ayo Fayose; ex-governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle; two ex-governors of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime; ex-governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu; and ex-governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Additional individuals under scrutiny include ex-governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili; ex-governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji; ex-governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje; ex-governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamako; ex-governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva; and ex-governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

Each individual is being probed for a variety of alleged offenses, from money laundering to fraud. The EFCC is also examining several alleged cases of money laundering involving ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, which involve several billions of naira and millions of dollars.

Recently, the EFCC initiated investigations into ex-ministers Olu Agunloye, over an alleged $6bn fraud linked to the Mambilla Power Project, and Sadiya Umar-Farouk, over an alleged N37.1bn fraud. Both served under the administrations of ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammadu Buhari, respectively.

The commission is also probing the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, and the Coordinator of the suspended National Social Investment Programme Agency, Halima Shehu, over an alleged N81.6bn fraud within the ministry. A host of bank CEOs, civil servants, and contractors are also under investigation in relation to this fraud.

In response to a protest calling for the EFCC to revisit the probe of the immediate past governor of Zamfara state, Matawalle, over alleged N70bn money laundering, Olukoyede affirmed that all high-profile cases would be revisited and no corruption cases involving former or incumbent public officials would be neglected or abandoned by the commission.

On May 18, 2023, the EFCC announced that Matawalle was under investigation over allegations of significant corruption, award of phantom contracts, and diversion of over N70bn. The commission’s investigations disclosed that more than 100 companies received payments from these funds, with no evidence of services rendered to the state.