The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained a former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, over an alleged diversion of N22 billion.
Sources at the EFCC, who are familiar with the case but not permitted to speak publicly, told this newspaper that Mr. Mamman was detained Wednesday morning after turning himself in at the commission’s office in Abuja.
Mr. Mamman served as the Minister of Power from August 2019 to September 2021, when he was unceremoniously removed from office by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Providing insights into the case against Mr Mamman, sources said he allegedly conspired with officials of the Ministry of Power during his stint as minister diverted N22 billion and shared it among themselves.
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“From 2017 to date, the former Minister of Power conspired with other staff of the Ministry in charge of the accounts of the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro Electric Power Project, diverted over N22 billion naira, and shared it amongst themselves,” a source said.
The sources said, “Investigations have led to the tracing and identification of properties in Nigeria and overseas, as well as the recovery of millions of naira and USD.”
Investigations are still ongoing over the matter, sources said.
They added that the suspects linked to the case would soon be charged in court.
Mr. Mamman was sacked alongside then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, in what the presidency described as a fallout of the president’s move to “reinvigorate this cabinet in a manner that will deepen its capacity to consolidate legacy achievements.”
Removal of ministers and appointees is generally a rarity under the outgoing administration of President Buhari.
On a few occasions when that happened, it involved massive infractions that were too weighty to overlook.
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Curious members of the public had speculated that the reason for sacking Mr Mamman within two years of his appointment was likely to be more than cabinet reshuffling.
His arrest on Wednesday comes about 20 months after his removal from office and less than three weeks to the end of Mr. Buhari’s tenure.
He was still in EFCC custody as of the time of filing this report Wednesday evening.
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