Fresh details have emerged on why President Bola Tinubu suspended Halima Shehu, the national coordinator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).
Recall, THE WITNESS reported that Shehu was arrested and quizzed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, few hours after her suspension from office.
The Federal Government under former President Muhammadu Buhari had established the NSIPA in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country. The suite of programmes under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women.
A source at the anti-graft agency, however, told our correspondent that the suspended NSIPA boss was suspended and arrested in connection with the movement of N17 billion from NSIPA account to some suspicious accounts within one week without presidential approval.
It was learnt that the EFCC might have recommended Halima Shehu’s suspension to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Her suspension, based on preliminary investigation, was to pave the way for an unfettered probe of the infraction.
Findings revealed that following intelligence, the EFCC uncovered unusual movement of the funds from NSIPA’s account.
It was also learnt that the EFCC was closing in on a director of the agency, who was allegedly complicit in the huge payments into the suspicious accounts.
She is said to have spend the night at the EFCC custody.
THE WITNESS further gathered that some crack operatives of the EFCC will today (Wednesday) interrogate a former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, for allegedly laundering N37, 170,855,753.44 during her tenure through a contractor, James Okwete.
The ex-minister has disowned the implicated contractor.
She might be quizzed today by a team of interrogators.