Ex-power minister arrested for N22bn fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has detained and arrested Sale Mamman, a former minister of power, in connection with an alleged N22 billion fraud.

Mamman, who served as a minister for President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) from 2019 to 2021, was reportedly detained on Wednesday at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja after showing up for questioning.

 

Mamman had been fired by Buhari in 2021 after a minor cabinet shuffle.

According to EFCC sources, the former minister is being questioned in relation to an investigation into alleged corruption totaling N22 billion during the execution of some power projects.

“The former minister is being held on suspicion of embezzling and diverting about N22 billion.

According to a source, “He is under investigation for allegedly conspiring to divert N22 billion and share among themselves with some ministry employees in charge of the accounts of the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro Electric Power projects.”

The source claims that properties in Nigeria and abroad that were allegedly connected to the suspects were found during the investigations, and that millions of naira and dollars were also reportedly recovered.

Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesperson, did not return phone calls or a text message when our correspondent tried to get in touch with him for comment.

According to reports, the EFCC had opened an inquiry into the contentious $5.8 billion Mambilla Hydro Electric Power project contract with Sunrise Power in November 2022.

The Sunrise litigation on the project is the only issue delaying its start, according to the current Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu.

“The EFCC has taken an interest in the situation, and we have provided them with information on it. The power project’s history has been provided to them. Our attorneys have communicated with the anti-graft organization. We are powerless to take any action unless we can end the legal battle.

In a 2022 report, Aliyu stated, “I don’t think the investor will bring his money where there is an encumbrance.”

 

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