In a significant development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken into custody the Chief Executive Officers of Zenith, Providus, and Jaiz banks. This move comes as part of the ongoing investigation into financial irregularities linked to the disgraced Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, and her predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
Under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, a series of corruption probes have been initiated, revealing instances of financial mismanagement and fraud within the government. The current focus of the investigation involves allegations of substantial public funds being diverted into private accounts, with Minister Betta Edu and former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk implicated in the malpractices.
The banking executives had been under discreet scrutiny following public outrage over the unscrupulous diversion of public funds. Multiple credible sources within the Presidency confirmed their apprehension by the EFCC, signaling a pivotal development in the ongoing probe.
The EFCC is currently investigating numerous cases where significant public funds were directed into private accounts, purportedly sanctioned by Edu and Farouk leveraging their ministerial positions. The large-scale movement of funds into private accounts was reportedly facilitated by potential oversights in flagging suspicious transactions, a responsibility banks bear under various anti-financial crime laws and Central Bank directives.
Despite numerous requests for comments regarding their CEOs’ detention, the banks involved have yet to respond.
EFCC spokesperson Dele Oyewale refrained from providing detailed information on the matter.
Meanwhile, Minister Betta Edu has denied any wrongdoing in a statement addressed to Npower beneficiaries via Facebook. She asserted her commitment to fighting corruption and urged individuals to remain resilient amidst the accusations.
The EFCC’s actions underscore the government’s determination to address corruption at all levels, with recent high-profile detentions, including that of the disgraced CBN governor Godwin Emefiele and EFCC chair Rasheed Bawa. The investigations are part of a broader initiative to ensure transparency and accountability within the administration.